philadelphia Unpaid compensation law firm serving pennsylvania and new jersey
Most Americans rely on their wages to support themselves and to provide for their families. Wages may include an hourly rate or a salary, bonuses, commissions, and/or fringe benefits. When an employee works for an employer, he/she is entitled to be paid all earned compensation. A late paycheck or non-payment of an expected earned bonus or commission can have significant consequences for an employee.
If you are have not been paid all compensation that you have earned, including bonuses and commissions, it is vital to contact an employment attorney who can determine your rights and remedies.
Pennsylvania Wage Payment Collection Law
Pennsylvania’s Wage Payment and Collection Law (WPCL) provides a remedy to employees who have not been paid all wages.
Wages include all forms of earnings, such as salary, hourly earnings, overtime, bonuses, commissions, and fringe benefits and wage supplements. Fringe benefits and wage supplements include separation, vacation, holiday, or guaranteed pay; reimbursement for expenses; union dues withheld from the employee’s pay by the employer; and any other amount to be paid according to an agreement.
Payment of wages must be made within the time frame set forth in an employment contract or, if no contract exists, “within the standard time lapse customary in the trade or within 15 days from the end of such pay period.” At the time of hiring, employers must inform employees of pay dates, pay rates, and other benefits. Employers must also inform employees as to any changes in these terms.
Employers may not make deductions from an employee’s wages, unless a law or regulation requires the employer to make the deduction or if the deduction is for the employee’s convenience. Final payment to a separated employee must be made on the next scheduled payday.
Should an employer fail to pay wages in accordance with a (written or oral) contractual obligation to pay earned wages, the WPCL creates a legal remedy for employees to recover unpaid wages. While some claims under the WPCL involve employees who have not been paid wages at all, usually because the employer does not have sufficient funds, or did not receive their final paychecks after leaving the employer, many claims arise when there is a dispute between the employee and employer regarding the employee’s entitlement to a bonus or a commission.
In addition to unpaid wages, the WPCL also allows a prevailing employee to recover liquidated damages equal to 25% of the wages that are owed to the employee if the employer’s failure to pay the wages was not in good faith. An award of attorney’s fees is mandatory.
New Jersey Wage Payment Law
New Jersey’s Wage Payment Law (NJWPL) requires that employers pay all wages on regularly scheduled designated paydays at least 2 times per month.
At the time of hiring, employers inform employees of pay dates, pay rates, and other benefits. Employers must also inform employees as to any changes in these terms.
Employers may not make deductions from an employee’s wages, unless a law or regulation requires the employer to make the deduction or the employee authorizes the deduction. Final payment to a separated employee must be made on the next scheduled payday.
The NJWPL creates a legal remedy for employees to recover unpaid wages.
My employer has not paid all wages, bonuses, and/or commissions. What do I do?
If you believe that your employer has not paid all compensation that you have earned and that your employer agreed to pay you, it is vital to contact an employment attorney who can determine your rights and remedies. There are strict deadlines for filing wage claims that vary by the circumstances of your situation.
Contact employment lawyer Stephanie J. Mensing of Mensing Law LLC at (215) 586-3751. Ms. Mensing in an employment attorney with extensive experience handling unpaid compensation issues. Schedule a consultation today to ensure that your rights are protected.