Is it legal to underpay and make employee wait for compensation?

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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Is it legal to underpay and make employee wait for compensation?

If a clerical error resulted in a 25 loss in payment in a bi-weekly paycheck in
Massachusetts and brought to their attention immediately, is it legal to tell
them to wait 2 weeks until their next paycheck for a correction?

Asked on December 16, 2018 under Employment Labor Law, Massachusetts


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

Legal? No. But there is really nothing you can about it. Any legal action you could bring, or any complaint to the department of labor, would take far longer than to the next pay period to resolve; but that means that by the time it was ready for resolution, the complaint or claim would have been rendered moot or irrelevant, since you would have already received the money to which you are entitled. If you are going to be paid in two weeks, as a practical matter, all you can do is wait for it.

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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