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Laid off and employer behind in paying me North Carolina

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  • Laid off and employer behind in paying me North Carolina

    I was let go from six years of full time employment this week because, in this recession, there isn't enough billable work to keep me busy.

    The problem is compounded by having not received a month's worth (4 weeks) of paychecks that I should have already received. The checks were issued on time to comply with the government paperwork, but the employer has been sitting on each of our paychecks for two to six weeks each for over a year now so that he can dip into payroll money to pay down some of his family's debt. My family, on the other hand, has had to deal with late fees and fines, breaks in utility service, and children going without required medicine because of this situation.

    Does North Carolina have a bureau that will aid me in getting that money, or helping the employees left behind get their money? Or do I have to wait until I'm employed again and can afford a private lawyer, hoping that my former employer is still in business by then?

    I realize that this is a "right to work" state, which is a euphemism for "a small step above slavery", but it doesn't seem that it would be legal for a company's owner to dip into payroll that way -- even a small company.

  • GRinNC
    replied
    Now I just need to contact someone at NCESC who knows HOW to do this. It doesn't seem to be covered in the automated claims forms and the only responses I've received from inquiries are describing processes already detailed on the website.

    Leave a comment:


  • LoriK
    replied
    Aha! The lightbulb went on... I thought he was claiming from his last day worked then was going to receive checks for back pay owed during weeks he wasn't claiming UI. That makes more sense.

    Leave a comment:


  • Pattymd
    replied
    Originally posted by Morgana View Post
    Ok, thats new for me.
    Me, too. See, even old dogs.

    Leave a comment:


  • Morgana
    replied
    Ok, thats new for me.

    Leave a comment:


  • GRinNC
    replied
    Originally posted by Morgana View Post
    In my experience, once you start collecting UI, the employer is pretty much out of the picture... They are generally not set up to have employers pay them for your overpayment.
    Back pay is a special case in North Carolina:

    "The employer is required by law to deduct the amount of the overpayment from the back pay award and forward those monies to the Commission to resolve the overpayment."

    Leave a comment:


  • Morgana
    replied
    Originally posted by GRinNC View Post
    Because UI isn't really responsible for paying back wages. The employer is. So if I eventually get paid, then I have to repay UI; or instead of paying me, the employer would have to reimburse UI for fronting me the money. The UI money for back pay is essentially a loan.

    In my experience, once you start collecting UI, the employer is pretty much out of the picture. So, if you get paid by your employer, UI will expect you to repay the state since you were the one overpaid. They are generally not set up to have employers pay them for your overpayment.

    Leave a comment:


  • cbg
    replied
    Lori, I think the poster is talking about collecting UI for a week for which he has received no pay, but did work. (This may or may not actually happen.) IF he received UI for a week for which he worked, but received no pay, AND IF he was subsequently paid for the week by the employer, he MIGHT be required to repay the UI benefits. I can't say that he would, but I can't say that he wouldn't, either.

    Likewise, I can't say that he would be approved for UI for a week that he actually worked, but was not paid for, either.

    Leave a comment:


  • LoriK
    replied
    I'm still not seeing it but that is obviously just me. I'm clearly missing something important.

    Leave a comment:


  • GRinNC
    replied
    Because UI isn't really responsible for paying back wages. The employer is. So if I eventually get paid, then I have to repay UI; or instead of paying me, the employer would have to reimburse UI for fronting me the money. The UI money for back pay is essentially a loan.

    Leave a comment:


  • cbg
    replied
    I'm not saying it WOULD. I'm saying it COULD BE. I'm not the ALJ nor am I in NC. I'm not going to make him any promises I can't keep.

    But payback or no payback, he's still not going to be in violation of anything by filing for a week in which he hasn't been paid.

    Leave a comment:


  • LoriK
    replied
    cbg - correct me if I'm wrong, but if it is pay due for a previous work week, not during the time that the former employee is collecting UI, why would there be repayment required? While they are receiving money, they aren't receiving it for any work completed in that week - it is old money due to them.

    Leave a comment:


  • cbg
    replied
    If you file for UI and are approved on the basis that you have not been paid, and later you receive back pay, while you may (or may not) have to repay the UI benefits, you will not be in any trouble for filing. You filed in good faith. You are not committing fraud as long as you understand that if and when you receive back pay, you will most likely need to repay the UI office.

    Leave a comment:


  • GRinNC
    replied
    Originally posted by cbg View Post
    How would paying you what you are owed trick you into any kind of a violation?

    I don't know, this is beginning to sound like you're more concerned with suing your employer than you are with being paid.
    If I file immediately for UI and later have collected unemployment to cover the period I'm not getting paid, rather than waiting for my leftover vacation pay and last week of work has passed, I just want to make sure that I'm not in trouble for collecting UI if my employer nullifies a back pay claim by paying up before the Dept of Labor acts.

    Of course this sounds convoluted, but I'm finding the ESC rules to be convoluted, as well, with many pitfalls that would have claimants dotting all the i's and crossing all their t's for fear of getting denied.

    I am concerned about suing because I may have to sue, and don't really want to. I would rather avoid it altogether, let them continue to operate, and concentrate on finding a new job. It's hard to concentrate when you're cold and hungry, however, and I may soon be.

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  • GRinNC
    replied
    Originally posted by cbg View Post
    And sooner is better than later.
    You are correct. NC protects the employer for 10 days from the date the money was due before I can file a claim, which means I would have to wait until next week to include all the checks that are behind.

    I also may want to wait until my unemployment insurance eligibility status is established, too, to avoid spiteful retaliation. But it seems I should claim the back pay as soon as I'm clear of vulnerability.

    Leave a comment:

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