Can You Sue Your Employer For Not Getting Your Minimum Wage Paid On Time?

Can You Sue Your Employer For Not Getting Your Minimum Wage Paid On Time

When you get hired for a job, it’s essential that you talk with your employer about the details of your paycheck, that is, when and how you should be paid. In other words, you should get a job description from your employer. They will explain everything about your pay and your pay date, while it will be up to you to keep any employment contracts and employee handbooks. Also, you should maintain documentation such as notes, memos, emails, paystubs, and copies of timecards.

In addition to information about your paycheck, an employer must either post or notify you in writing of their policy regarding sick leave, personal leave, vacation, holidays, hours of work, and overtime hours.

However, if you are not regularly paid on time or aren’t paid the proper rate, there are available options to fix this problem. And you don’t have to wait for too long to file a complaint against your employer. For instance, if your paycheck is supposed to be delivered to you on Friday, and you don’t receive it by Monday, then you may be able to benefit from filing a complaint about an unpaid wage.

What are the New York State laws about late wages?

There have been numerous cases where employers delayed paying wages to their employees due to cash flow problems. The reasons for this vary from the employer not being promptly paid by a customer or receiving funds from a government agency to the issues with the bank being delayed.

Whatever the reason, if a worker files a complaint and states that the paychecks violated state laws and demands their wage, which was or still is late, they could have a successful case. Any late payment is considered an unpaid wage.

Payroll Rules

All states have laws that determine when and how much employees are to be paid. State laws define how long there can be between the conclusion of the pay period and when the employee gets paid. Typically, employers pay their employees weekly, biweekly, or monthly. New York State law has established that an employer must pay employees no later than thirty (30) days after a payment period, so the payment date cannot extend beyond that monthly pay date. If an employer is frequently late with paying wages or fails completely to pay their employees, then they could face serious penalties from the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) or the New York State Department of Labor.

In New York State, an employer is required to pay manual workers at least once a week, not more than a week after the salary was earned. Commission salespersons should be paid at least once a month and are entitled to a statement of earnings due. Other types of workers must be paid at least twice a month, on a regular pay day determined in advance.

Confronting Your Employer

When addressing your employer about your late wages, it is crucial that you choose the right time and get straight to the point. The best thing to do is to make a list of the essential facts, such as the date and time of the missed wages and the number of times this has happened.

Make sure that you have all the necessary documentation as proof of late or unpaid wages, and calmly present the evidence to your employer. This way, your employer will be able to provide a faster solution to the late payroll problem by correcting it on the spot. It is advisable to take time and relax before confronting your employer, to avoid being emotional. 

What to do if your paycheck is still late even after you’ve talked with your employer?

A late paycheck can put your family in a financial bind. It can make all the difference in whether you can pay your bills, buy groceries, or keep the electricity on. But these aren’t necessarily all of your potential problems. For example, if you receive your paycheck and the check bounces, then you will have to face additional consequences such as adverse credit score marks, returned check fees, late payment charges, and more. Naturally, you will want your employer to compensate you for all those troubles and costs.

If you are not paid in a timely fashion for the job well done, you will want to talk to your supervisor, the company’s Human Resources Department (HR), or a payroll manager. If they can’t help you, you should consult with an employment law attorney who handles wage theft claims.

An experienced and professional lawyer can help you get your claim underway. The attorney will be able to review the details of your claim, so make sure to have supporting documentation that shows you were working but wasn’t paid on time that you were supposed to be. The type of information needed to file an unpaid wage complaint includes:

  • Your name;
  • Your address and phone number;
  • The name of the company where you work or worked;
  • The address where the company is located;
  • The names of business managers or owners;
  • The type of work you did; and 
  • How and when you were paid.

Other documentation such as copies of pay stubs, personal records of hours worked, or any additional helpful information regarding your employer’s lousy pay practices is beneficial.

The lawyer may contact your employer and may also file an unpaid wage claim with the FLSA or with the EEOC, whichever applies to your situation. The lawyer will also know how to proceed with your outstanding wage claim and what damages you can recover for your losses. With professional help, you may be able to recover all of your lost wages and any other damages, interest, and costs that apply to your particular case.

If you decide to sue your employer, you should know that your employer cannot fire you or otherwise discriminate against you in any way for filing an unpaid wage complaint. Any employer who terminates or otherwise discriminates against any employee because they decided to pursue their outstanding wage claim in court may be liable for additional liability for what would be considered a retaliatory discharge. However, it is important to know that an employee cannot bring a private lawsuit if they have already been paid back wages under the supervision of the FLSA or if the Secretary of Labor has already ordered that employer recover the wages.

Another option is trying to negotiate a settlement of your unpaid wage claim without filing an official claim or complaint. An experienced wage and hour lawyer can compare all of your options for you so you can make an informed decision about what option to pursue and successfully represent you both in court and in negotiations with your employer. It’s also essential to know that a six-year statute of limitations applies to all unpaid wage claims under the New York Labor Law. 


If your salary is only a couple of days late and it doesn’t happen often, it is probably not worth your time and effort to file a claim. However, if your hourly wage is continually late, to the point that you are not sure if you will be able to pay your bills, then you should urgently seek legal advice.

Standing up against your employer can be challenging, but you could be entitled to thousands of dollars if you have been mistreated. A professional and experienced unpaid wage claim lawyer may be able to help. 

Employment lawyers typically work on a contingency fee basis, meaning an employee who files a claim doesn’t have to pay any legal fees unless they win. A knowledgeable attorney may also factor your legal costs into a settlement, so you won’t have to pay anything out of your pocket if your employer decides to settle.

To find out whether you have a case worth pursuing, feel free to contact Cilenti & Cooper today.



Let us fight to recover the wages you have earned.

Recent Posts