Is it legal for an employer to only partially pay employee wages when they can’t make full payroll?

UPDATED: Oct 9, 2017

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Is it legal for an employer to only partially pay employee wages when they can’t make full payroll?

question says it all

Asked on October 9, 2017 under Employment Labor Law, California


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

No, it is not legal: under the law, employees must be paid for all work done or days worked, regardless of the employer's financial condition. This is not legal grounds to not make full payroll. 
Again, though, that is the law. Practice or reality may differ. If the employer does not have enough money to make payroll, they cannot make payroll: a legal obligation does not make money appear where there is none. So if the employer truly does not have the money to fully pay its staff, the fact that they are supposed to will not enable them to do so.

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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