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Can they hold my first Pay? Pennsylvania

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  • Can they hold my first Pay? Pennsylvania

    I was told by a former employer that it is illegal to hold someone's first paycheck. I recently took a seasonal job for money for Christmas. I started October 27th. Today should have been my first pay day -- but I was told last night that I won't be getting a paycheck because they "hold" your first pay. Is this legal?

  • #2
    Paychecks are paid in arrears. In other words, you get paid for the previous time you worked.

    They cannot withhold from you any funds that you have earned.
    Not everything that makes you mad, sad or uncomfortable is legally actionable.

    I am not now nor ever was an attorney.

    Any statements I make are based purely upon my personal experiences and research which may or may not be accurate in a court of law.


    • #3
      OP, what is the pay period ending date of the check that you expected today, and how often are employees paid?
      I don't respond to Private Messages unless the moderator specifically refers you to me for that purpose. Thank you.


      • #4
        We are paid twice a week. The pay ending date would have been Sunday, November 11th. I also worked 1 day in the LAST pay period which ended Sunday, October 28th. I haven't been paid for that either. They told me that they have to hold a full two week pay and they just added that day to this pay period and held the entire thing.

        I've never had a paycheck held before.


        • #5
          PA is not my state, but my source book says that:

          Lag Time Before Pay = 15 days after end of pay period.
          "Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away".
          Philip K. **** (1928-1982)


          • #6
            So they have to at least pay me for the one day that I worked in October before the end of that pay period.

            Guess I'm just frustrated. I only took this job so I could have Christmas money and now I can't even go black Friday shopping and I'm still responsible for paying a babysitter for the inbetween mine and my husband's work schedules. Which is money we don't really have without me getting a paycheck


            • #7
              Correct. And unfortunately, even if you filed a claim, by the time the state DOL would get to working it, the next pay period will have come and gone, and you'll be up to date. It's just the volume thing.

              Having said that, however, the actual law says
              Section 3. Regular Payday.

              (a) Wages other than fringe benefits and wage supplements. Every employer shall pay all wages, other than fringe benefits and wage supplements, due to his employes on regular paydays designated in advance by the employer. Overtime wages may be considered as wages earned and payable in the next succeeding pay period. All wages, other than fringe benefits and wage supplements, earned in any pay period shall be due and payable within the number of days after the expiration of said pay period as provided in a written contract of employment or, if not so specified, within the standard time lapse customary in the trade or within 15 days from the end of such pay period.
              (emphasis mine)

              The way I interpret that is that the regular payday schedule must be followed, and such schedule cannot be more than 15 days following the end of the pay period.

              I'm not sure I wouldn't file the wage claim anyway (although I also understand that, as a new employee, you're probably not eager to "rock the boat".) At least, the DOL would be on notice that the employer is very likely in violation of the "regularly scheduled payday" part of the law, at least as new employees are concerned.
              I don't respond to Private Messages unless the moderator specifically refers you to me for that purpose. Thank you.


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