Is it legal for a company to withhold a paycheck because of missing paperwork?

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Is it legal for a company to withhold a paycheck because of missing paperwork?

I was a scheduling coordinator for many years and was told we could not withhold checks because of missing paper work, but my company did not pay me this week because of missing paperwork. Is that legal?

Asked on September 26, 2011 under Employment Labor Law, Massachusetts

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

It depends on what kind of paperwork is missing. If you have not turned in time sheets or other paperwork necessary for the employer to calculate and pay your wages, then the employer does not have to pay you until you do. However, if you've provided what's necessary to pay you, you have to be paid. The employer may not withhold pay for missing paperwork (other than the documents necessary to calculate and process your pay), though if you don't have an employment contract protecting your job, the company could take other action, such as demoting, suspending, or even terminating you. If you're an employee at will (no contract), there's alot of disciplinary action the company may legally take for missing paperwork, but withholding pay is not among it.


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