Is it legal for an employer to withhold wages for a previously worked week?

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022

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Is it legal for an employer to withhold wages for a previously worked week?

My husband works for a company that is moving their pay schedule from being a week behind to paying for current hours worked. There is a week in June that he hasn’t been paid for and the company says that he won’t get paid for that week until he leaves the companyno matter the reason he leaves. So my question is Is it legal for them to withhold pay for time already worked? We could understand a bit better if he just started with the company but he has been there coming up on 15 years.

Asked on July 14, 2016 under Employment Labor Law, Kansas


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

No, it is not legal: employees need to be paid for the work they did at least monthly in your state--which basically means that you can't make an employee wait more than 4 weeks or so to be paid. The convenience of the employer, the way their systems or processes work, etc. are not legal defenses to the obligation to pay employees at least monthly, so legally, your husband must be paid. Unfortunately, there is no good way to get the money other than either filing a complaint aginst the employer with the department of labor or by suing, so you need to balance your need for the money (and sense of fairness) vs. the impact on his relationship with his employer if he takes that sort of action.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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