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Holding Pay back after employed for 6+ years

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  • Holding Pay back after employed for 6+ years

    Hello:
    I work for a company in wisconsin and have for the past 6 years. When I first started with them they didn't have a policy of holding 1 weeks pay until we quit or were terminated. We get paid every other week and they recently decided that they were going to withold half of one of our march paycheck as this was determined to be a "best business practice" to basically retroactively hold 1 weeks pay back. Is this legal in Wisconsin in particular? Any thoughts on this matter would be greatly appreciated.

  • #2
    I'm confused. Is it possible that they have changed from paying current (check date is the pay period ending date) to paying in arrears (check date is sometime after the pay period ending, often 6-7 days)? If you can provide some pay period dates and check dates before and after the change, that would help.
    I don't respond to Private Messages unless the moderator specifically refers you to me for that purpose. Thank you.

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    • #3
      Sorry...don't have any pay dates with me. Basically what they told us is that since they didn't have a policy of holding 1 weeks pay when the company started, they were going to do this now by holding 1 weeks pay back in March. By this I mean, the way our paydays fall in March, we get paid three times next month. What they told us is that they are going to pay us three times, but the third paycheck is going to have half of this check witheld to get them a 1 week witholding on our pay that is to be paid back at the time of our termination or after we give our two weeks notice.

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      • #4
        I think someone greatly misunderstands how paying in arrears works. No, this is not permitted.
        I post with the full knowledge and support of my employer, though the opinions rendered are my own and not necessarily representative of their position. In other words, I'm a free agent.

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        • #5
          Without the dates, however, I'm not committing to an opinion.
          I don't respond to Private Messages unless the moderator specifically refers you to me for that purpose. Thank you.

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          • #6
            How does one approach their companies HR department regarding this? What can I source as far as laws or regulations go?

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            • #7
              I can't give you ANY laws until I have the details.
              I don't respond to Private Messages unless the moderator specifically refers you to me for that purpose. Thank you.

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              • #8
                Sorry for the delay in reply...

                We get paid biweekly at the company that i work for. Our next payday is March 16, 2007. Here are some excerpts from the email that give detail into what the company I work for is planning:

                "All -

                Many of you have commented in the past on how unusual it is that any employer pays through the very Friday of each payroll date.

                A best business practice review during the sale of the Company brought the fact that (company name removed) has paid in that manner since all of us have been employed. We are now required to change this practice. This will allow us better management and reporting of time worked, PTO utilized and any benefit changes.

                To accomplish this change we have chosen March 30, 2007 as the payroll date this will impact each of us. We chose this date because there are three payrolls in March. What this means to you is that on that date you will be paid for one week of work. That will include your salary or hourly wages, any reimbursement amounts, and PTO charged to you. However, because our benefit deductions are based on 26 payrolls, they will have to be assessed at the full amount.

                When we are paid on April 13, 2007 we will again be paid for two weeks; for the period of March 26, 2007 through April 6, 2007. That means that the week of April 9-13, 2007 will be “held back” as is normal business practice. Going forward, PTO will continue to be charged based upon the weeks being paid. The “held back” week is always owed to you, minus any PTO used, paid at the time of your retirement or departure from (company name removed).

                We are providing this announcement to you now to give you as much time as possible to manage your personal funds in anticipation of this change."


                My understanding is that in the state of Wisconsin (referencing chapter 109) an employer must "pay all workers all wages earned at least monthly with no longer than 31 days between pay periods." I'm not sure how this effects hourly vs. salaried employees. Outside of being an unwelcome announcement to the employees that the company I work for, my concern is that what they are doing something illegal. I understand that they are switching from our current pay scheme to paying in arrears, but my concern is that the way in which they are making the change (by taking and holding one weeks pay until we leave now) is also illegal.

                Any thoughts on the subject are greatly appreciated.

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                • #9
                  That's what I thought.

                  What they are doing is changing from paying current to paying in arrears. However, they cannot "hold back" the week of April 9-13. That should be included with the week ending April 20, and paid on April 27. Having said that, though, you're correct and it would be May 20 (or thereabouts) before the law was actually violated.
                  I don't respond to Private Messages unless the moderator specifically refers you to me for that purpose. Thank you.

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