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Employer withholding first paycheck indefinitely Pennsylvania

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  • Employer withholding first paycheck indefinitely Pennsylvania

    I started a new job in Pennsylvania last week. The offer letter for the position said that my first paycheck would be held (no timeframe specified). I assumed it meant for the three-month probationary period. Today the bookkeeper informed me that the first two weeks pay are held until the employee leaves the firm, essentially as some kind of deposit against damages. I said I thought this was illegal, but she insisted it wasn't.

    I know Pennsylvania has a wage payment law that says employees are to be paid within a certain timeframe, but is there any way this law can be construed to permit my employer's paycheck withholding practice?

  • #2
    No, holding your first paycheck indefinitely is illegal no matter how you slice it. It is legal to pay in arrears (i.e. the work you do this week gets paid for next week) but holding it until you leave is a definite no-no.

    Contact the PA DLI.
    The above answer, whatever it is, assumes that no legally binding and enforceable contract or CBA says otherwise. If it does, then the terms of the contract or CBA apply.


    • #3
      Just to be certain, how often are you paid, and how long after the end of the pay period is the check for that pay period dated? When was your first day worked in relation to the end of the pay period?
      I don't respond to Private Messages unless the moderator specifically refers you to me for that purpose. Thank you.


      • #4
        Our paychecks are issued on the 15th and the last day of the month. The pay periods include the day on which the check is issued. The bookkeeper, who is sympathetic to the cash-flow problems caused by withholding an entire paycheck, actually withheld a week's pay from each of my first two checks instead. I just received my third check, which was for a complete pay period.


        • #5
          Yeah, your company is pretending to pay current, but is actually paying in arrears.
          Senior Professional in Human Resources and Certified Staffing Professional with over 30 years experience. Any advice provided is based upon experience and education, but does not constitute legal advice.


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