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Lucy, Esq.
Lucy, Esq., Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 30168
Experience:  Former judicial law clerk, lawyer
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My company is withholding my vacation, sick, bonuses and

Customer Question

My company is withholding my vacation, sick, bonuses and overtime pay after they terminated me.
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Employment Law
Expert:  Lucy, Esq. replied 2 years ago.


I'm Lucy, and I'd be happy to answer your questions today. I'm sorry to hear that this happened.

How long has it been since you were terminated? Did they give a reason for withholding those amounts? Did you get your regular pay when you were terminated?

Customer: replied 2 years ago.
When I was terminated the president said he would pay me through July. This was the beginning of June and my pay checks were deposited as regular pay through June and then they stopprd in July. He put in text that he would pay me through July and did not Nor did he pay me my vacation, sick bonuses or overtime
Expert:  Lucy, Esq. replied 2 years ago.

Thank you.

Unfortunately, neither New York nor federal law requires that a terminated employee be paid for unused vacation or sick leave absent a specific policy or contract that promises they will. Payment of bonuses will depend on the type of bonus and how it's paid. Many companies require that a person be employed somewhere in order to earn a bonus, and a person who is getting paid but not working isn't really employed there - essentially, they gave you a severance package. So look at any documentation you have that might establish that the bonus is a RIGHT, earned by your work there, rather than a fringe benefit given to current employees.

However, he's legally required to pay you for all hours worked, which means that he has to give you overtime pay that you earned before being terminated. You can request unpaid wages by submitting a wage claim through the state:

If there is a handbook or agreement that entitles you to bonuses, sick pay, and vacation leave after being terminated, you can ask the state to collect those from you using this form:

Note that the state does require that you make a request for these things from the employer before filing. Sending the request in writing gives you evidence that it was done. Using certified mail can also help you ensure they give your letter the attention it deserves. A demand letter usually includes a specific deadline, so you know you can go ahead and file the claim if they don't respond by the date you give them.

It's important that you are 100% satisfied with my courtesy and professionalism. Thank you.