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Salaried and Self Termination

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  • Salaried and Self Termination

    Hi, a few months ago i worked for an Audio,Video and Multimedia company in Burlington, Ma. I started off working as a subcontractor with a fixed salary of $650.00 per week, then a few months later was taking on as a salaried employee being paid $1400.00 every 2 weeks before taxes. Up until July 25,2005 i quit without notice, the reason being that my employer didnt generate enough bussiness to pay us employees, us being me and 2 other employees which also were salaried and the harrasment that we got from him when he couldnt generate the bussiness. I called my employer during the next pay period and ask him if he could mail my check because i was unable to make the comute to Burlington, MA from Antrim, NH, the boss/owner said no and that i have to pick it up in person, after many unanswered calls and many emails i decided to file a complaint with the Attorney Generals Office. To this day i still havent found out if the complaint was reviewed, other than the email my former boss/owner sent me saying that the Attorney Generals Office had contacted him. Also on a few ocations while being employed, we were paid cash or private checks instead of our normal payroll checks and we never recieved paystubs for those weeks that we were paid cash. Now the questions.

    1) Can my employer make me pick my check up in person and not mail it to me?

    2) If im a salaried employee, does my employer have the right to pay me in cash or private check with deductions and not furnish me with a pay stub for proof?

    3) Does my employer have the legal right to withhold my paycheck?

    4) Should i contact the Attorney Generals Office to find out if my complaint got reviewed yet? The reason i ask is that i heard that the Attorney Generals Office is pretty backlogged.

    5) Should i contact an Attorney of my own?

    6) Can i seek any damages?

    Thank You

  • #2
    As for the place of payments, c.149, s.148 provides that "an employee absent from his regular place of labor at a time fixed for payment shall be paid thereafter on demand". I have always understood that to mean that an employee can direct the place for his final paycheck to be sent; although the employee may have to pay any extraordinay charges for that delivery, if any.

    An employer must show the deductinos. The wage statutes provide that, "An employer, when paying an employee his wage, shall furnish to such employee a suitable pay slip, check stub or envelope showing the name of the employer, the name of the employee, the day, month, year, number of hours worked, and hourly rate, and the amounts of deductions or increases made for the pay period." Your employer must also furnish you with a W-2 for all wages.

    As for the legal right to withold your paycheck, there are a very limited set of reasons for permissible deduction, so it is possible but unlikely.

    The AG receives approximately 65,000 complaints per year, and has a small staff. By law, they are entitled to take 90 days to review a complaint. If a claimant hasn't heard from them after 90 days, the claimant is free to take civil action directly, with the possiblity to recover mutiple damages, attorneys fees and costs.

    When we represent employees, we usually call the AG to check on the status of complaints. That typically speeds their process of declining to take the case, so we can get on with the suits. But, if you want the AG to handle your case, then you probably should be very clear about that when you speak with them.


    This post is by Philip Gordon, a Massachusetts employment attorney (

    This post is NOT legal advice. It is for general/educational information purposes only. You should not rely on this post if you are making decisions, and it does not create an attorney-client relationship. This post may be considered "advertising" under the MA professional rules for attorneys.