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Patrick, Esq.
Patrick, Esq., Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 11871
Experience:  Significant experience in all areas of employment law.
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Interesting situation. I have 7 uncashed paychecks from my

Customer Question

Hi, Interesting situation. I have 7 uncashed paychecks from my employer. The reason for this is that he seems to be taking practically every dollar out of the company for himself that comes in. He bounces checks to bills, vendors, and employees. The other employees take their checks to the bank they are drawn on and ask if the check will clear, then cash it. I am paid more than them as the production manager, so I try to get along so theirs will clear. One employee tried to deposit 3 checks the owner had reprinted for him this week, all three bounced again. I also see what money comes in, I see what we owe vendors. The owner tells me when money has come via wire transfer from overseas customers (I don't know why he tells me when he knows he owes me so much money). He thanks me for being patient. He occasionally tells me it is "ok" to deposit a couple checks. He grossly neglects the business, but obviously something is very wrong that would cause him to keep doing this. He talks and acts like he wants the business to keep going. I don't know why any vendors have not filed charges against him. Isn't this illegal? Isn't it fraud? Some other items I know for a fact ( I have proof ) he has purchased properties in the area, while he owes his employees money, and vendors money. He has people suing him, yet he seems to be able to keep things in litigation forever, I assume thinking the plaintiffs will run out of money first? He has gotten capital loans, which are in collections, he gets calls daily from collections and lawyers. I believe he has let workmans comp insurance lapse (Isn't that illegal?) Serious osha violations in that place also. I don't know what to do or where to start. People say to quit, yet I won't get unemployment correct? I won't get my back-pay I can guarantee he would not pay me. I feel helpless.
Submitted: 7 months ago.
Category: Employment Law
Expert:  Patrick, Esq. replied 7 months ago.

Hello and thank you for entrusting me to assist you. My name is ***** ***** I will do everything I can to answer your question.

Yes, it is absolutely illegal to fail to pay employees. If the failure can be proven as intentional, it can even be construed as a crime. The real question for you is what to do. The general rule is that quitting will result in disqualification from unemployment benefits. However, if an employee can demonstrate that they quit for reasons amounting to good cause, they will be approved. Not getting paid for your work is absolutely "good cause" for quitting that work. The law does not expect people to work without getting paid.

As far as getting what you are owed, there are some practical limitations of the law. Someone can break the law, but it's another thing to actually get a judgment you can collect from them. This is not to say you shouldn't try, though. In fact, the SOONER you try the better, because if your employer goes bankrupt, there may be nothing left, or there may be multiple creditors fighting for a share of whatever assets are left over. It is best to get a head start by moving forward with a legal claim as soon as you can.

You can either file a lawsuit or a wage claim, but in circumstances like this the wage claim option is usually better because it doesn't cost any money and you don't need to have an attorney. See here to initiate the wage claim process.

I hope that you find this information helpful. Please do not hesitate to let me know if you have any questions or concerns regarding the above and I will be more than happy to assist you further.

If you do not require any further assistance, please be so kind as to provide a positive rating of my service so that I may receive credit for assisting you. Very best wishes moving forward.

* Disclaimer *

Just Answer is a venue for informational and educational purposes only. No attorney-client relationship is formed by these communications.

Expert:  Patrick, Esq. replied 7 months ago.

Hello again,

I just wanted to followup with you to make sure that you did not have any further questions or concerns. For some unknown reason, the experts are not always getting replies or ratings (which is how we get paid for our work) that the customer thinks have gone through. In your case I have not yet received either. If you are having technical difficulties with reading, replying or rating, please let me know so that I can inform the site administrator.

In any event, it was a pleasure assisting you and I would be glad to attempt to assist you further on this issue, or a new legal issue, if needed.

Very best wishes.