What can I do if my last employer terminated me without paying me my last paycheck?

UPDATED: Feb 21, 2012

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What can I do if my last employer terminated me without paying me my last paycheck?

I was getting paid under the table. It was a construction job and I am not a licensed contractor. Apartment renovation. No workers comp as far as I know.

Asked on February 21, 2012 under Employment Labor Law, California


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

Employees and contractors must be paid for all work they did; therefore, you could sue your former employer for your final paycheck or for any other amounts it may owe you. A lawsuit is typically the way to recover unpaid amounts.

Bear in mind that if you were being paid "under the table," your employer was presumably not paying payroll taxes or other required assessments (such as for worker's compensation or unemployment)--however, if you are not reporting and paying all taxes due for the wages, you have been violating tax law, too. There is no law that allows payment "under the table."

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