Do I Have A Right To My Unpaid Salary In New York State?
In New York, you have a right to any salary that you earned but that your employer has not paid to you.
A right to salary can arise in a number of ways. It can be based on a written employment contract which states your annual salary. It can be based on an oral agreement between the employer and the employee. Most employees in New York do not have a written agreement but there is an oral agreement between the employer and the employee as to what the employer is to pay. It’s easy to prove that agreement because the amount is set forth in one’s weekly paychecks.
Lawsuits For Unpaid Wages
The statute of limitations on wage-and-hour claims in New York is six years. In a lawsuit for unpaid wages, one typically recovers not only the amount of the unpaid wages, but also additional damages equal to 100% of those wages, plus interest, and reasonable attorney’s fees.
Unlawful Deductions from Wages
There are a number of reasons for which employers commonly salary that are flatly unlawful. In New York, the only deductions from or charges against an employee’s wages which an employer may make, and the only reimbursements which an employer may require from employees, are:
- Those required by law, such as deductions for social security contributions or for income taxes,
- Those which are “for the benefit of the employee” and which the employee expressly authorizes in writing, such as payments for insurance premiums, pension or medical benefits, charitable contributions, U.S. bonds, union dues, and the like,
- Wage deductions related to recovery of an overpayment of wages, where the employer made the overpayment because of a mathematical or other clerical error by the employer, and
- Wage deductions consisting of repayment of advances of salary or wages made by the employer to the worker.
Monetary Losses To The Company
In New York, your employer may not deduct from your paycheck, charge against your wages, or require you to reimburse the company for, monetary losses to the company, even if your carelessness caused the losses. For example, if you lose or damage a laptop computer or other property belonging to the company, the company may not deduct the cost of replacing or repairing the computer or other property from your paycheck.
Likewise, an employer may not withhold, from a cashier employee’s paycheck, a shortage in a cash register. That said, in the absence of a contract, your employer in New York may fire you for causing the company a loss, carelessly or otherwise.
If your employer has made unlawful deductions from your salary, then those are among the circumstances in which you have a claim for unpaid salary.
If you are an executive or a professional in the New York City metro area and you believe you’ve been denied salary, bonuses, commissions, or other wages that are owed to you, call New York City Unpaid Wages Lawyer David S. Rich at (347) 941-0760 today.
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