How to Handle an Employer that Doesn’t Pay You

Despite our best efforts, things don’t always go as planned. In the business world, workers work, and employers pay them for their efforts. Unfortunately, there is the occasional employer who seems to forget how it’s supposed to work. 

Have you ever been in a situation where you have provided services to someone under a contract or promise you would be paid for your services and didn’t get paid accordingly? The discussion below will be directed towards steps you can take to secure funds you are due for the work you have done. It also addresses the things you can do to cover for any financial harm a delay in payments might lay on your doorstep. 

Reasons Your Employer Might Withhold Payment 

There’s a wide range of reasons why your employer might decide to withhold your wagers. At the top of the list would be company cash flow issues. Even with the best of intentions, employers are not immune to financial difficulties. There are times when a company’s finances might dry up, and the company is not able to make payroll or pay subcontractors. It falls under the guise they can’t pay what they don’t have. 

Other common reasons wages don’t get paid include the rogue employer who intentionally withholds wages at a whim. There are employers who decide to violate state and federal law by not paying overtime or looking for ways to avoid minimum wage. It’s quite possible for a boss to threaten not paying wages because of employee performance. These reasons might seem all well and good for the employer, but there are laws in place at all levels to protect the rights of employees. 

The Law 

By law, employers are required to pay employees for work completed, period. Without going into great detail, there are also laws in place at both the state and federal levels that make clear how employers are supposed to provide a minimum wage to all employees. There are even laws in place that dictate under what circumstances employers must pay overtime. 

If your employer decides to withhold payments for any reason, you have every right to complain to the proper authorities. You also have the right to file a lawsuit in pursuit of that to which you are entitled. You would be well-served to contact a labor attorney to discuss your rights and options.  

By the way, if your employer is withholding payroll because of cash flow issues, you might want to talk to them about the situation. There’s a chance they have every intention of making payments as soon as finances are addressed. In this case, you might want to accept their explanation in good faith and give them time to right the ship before you pursue any legal remedies. Endearing yourself to a struggling employer sometimes comes with benefits.  

Surviving Wage Payment Delays 

Rest assured, while you are fighting the battle to get paid what you are due, your bills will keep coming. You need to put a plan in place to make sure you have a viable way to get money to pay for your basic needs (rent/mortgage/car payment/utilities/insurance/food) at the least under said circumstances. 

If your wages have been delayed and you encounter an unexpected emergency, such as a sudden trip to the hospital, you may find yourself in a panic for how to handle the medical bills. Luckily, options do exist to help in these unexpected scenarios. A quick search for payday loans near me online can provide you with a list of nearby lenders and short-term financing options to get you through the emergency situation while you get your wages back on track. Most lenders will require proof of income to qualify for a loan, but you could still qualify based on other supplemental sources of income.  

If you encounter a situation where your employer withholds wages, it’s likely going to cause you a little stress. To begin with, you need to stay calm and maintain your wits about you. You’ll have decisions you need to make that are better made with a clear mind. Above all, stand up for yourself. You have rights and employer is required to follow the laws of the land.