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Q: Can I take legal action if my paycheck is late ? ( No Answer,   3 Comments )
Subject: Can I take legal action if my paycheck is late ?
Category: Business and Money
Asked by: needsrentmoney-ga
List Price: $2.00
Posted: 18 Oct 2005 17:22 PDT
Expires: 17 Nov 2005 16:22 PST
Question ID: 581940
A payroll company was recently late on sending me one of my paychecks.
This isn?t the first time it has happened since working for them.
Because of the check being late I am now being evicted because I was
unable to pay the full amount of rent. My question is weather or not
my payroll company can be held accountable for this, the only way to
stop the eviction is the remainder of the rent and the legal fee's
(almost $600 in legal fees). Legally is there anything I can do? I
find it very unfair that I should have to pay legal fees or be forced
to move out of my home because a company didn't pay me on time. Again
this isn?t the first time they have been late on paying me.

Any help would be appreciated.

Request for Question Clarification by cynthia-ga on 18 Oct 2005 17:31 PDT
Where do you live?  City County and State --if in the US.

Clarification of Question by needsrentmoney-ga on 18 Oct 2005 17:47 PDT
I live in Sunnyvale, California

Clarification of Question by needsrentmoney-ga on 18 Oct 2005 17:48 PDT
santa clara is the county i reside in.

Clarification of Question by needsrentmoney-ga on 19 Oct 2005 00:10 PDT
Thanks for all the comments everyone, I appreciate it. Just a little
more info on the matter. The reason why I wasn't able to set aside
money for something like this is because I have been playing catchup
with bills ever since I got this job. I worked there for 3 months, I
was suppose to get paid weekly and didnt receive my first paycheck
until almost 4 weeks into the job. So I had to borrow money because of
that so I could pay rent and other bills, so I haven?t had any money
to really set aside like I normally would incase of an emergency or
what not.  I have already left this job so I don?t need to worry about
upsetting anyone.  I could go on for a few paragraphs detailing all
the screw ups this payroll company has done with my paychecks. I even
have emails saved from them where it clearly states they will do one
thing and they do the exact opposite, this is NOT something you do
when dealing with someone?s paychecks.  Furthermore my family and
friends are not responsible for paying my bills, I should not have to
inconvenience any of them because a payroll company continues to make
mistakes. The first 3 paychecks that were late I stayed very calm and
didn?t make a big scene. This is now the 4th paycheck that they have
screwed up on, how many times is a payroll company allowed to
finically hurt you before they have to pay some sort of penalty or
reimburse me finical damage caused due to them not paying me when they
have had previously agreed to pay me. Even worse there is still my
final paycheck which I have until tomorrow to receive, If I don?t
receive it by tomorrow then I believe they are breaking the law where
they have 72 hours to pay your final wages (this is would make it the
5th check they were late on). So out of 12checks they were late on up
to 5 of them. I really don't think the blame should be put on me when
they have screwed up this many times. The first few times they messed
up I took matters into my own hand and borrowed money and did what I
had to to pay the bills. I made the mistake of contiuning to trust
them and it came back to haunt me, I still don't think I should be
held responsible for expecting a payroll company to actually pay me on
time though.

Unfortunately I don?t think there is much I could do either. I just
wanted to see what other people thought. I doubt it would even be
worth it with lawyer fees and what not but I now have to pay for legal
fee's that my apartment is paying to have me evicted (almost $600). I
just don?t think its right that I should have to pay almost $600 extra
in legal fee's because this payroll company continually screwed up my
paychecks even after numerous complaints, emails, and phone calls
letting them know how important it is that I receive my paychecks on
time. I?ve never dealt with a payroll company that?s been this bad and
I really feel someone needs to let them know that its not ok to make
so many huge mistakes when it concerns peoples livelihoods.

Thanks again for all the comments, I think ill contact a legal office
and see what they have to say. Ill let you guys know what happens
incase any of you are interested in what to do if this type of
situation occurs.
There is no answer at this time.

Subject: Re: Can I take legal action if my paycheck is late ?
From: daniel2d-ga on 18 Oct 2005 22:34 PDT
This is not legal advice - but probably not.  As a practical matter
that would certainly set up a adversarial relationship between you and
your employer.  Several other points:  1) If they are constantly late
with payroll that might mean they are in financial trouble or not well
managed.  Might be time to look for another job.  2) They would have
to have been mightly late with the check for you to get evicted.  You
get evicted for not paying rent - not being late with it.
It sounds like the checks being late are only one facet of the
situation.  Something else must be going on to get yourself evicted. 
Most people would have taken out a loan to pay the rent and then paid
the loan off when the check came.
Subject: Re: Can I take legal action if my paycheck is late ?
From: markvmd-ga on 18 Oct 2005 23:17 PDT
I dunno, daniel2d, I'd think that needsrentmoney has a potential
small-claims case against the payroll company for damages. Small
claims courts are set up for this sort of action and letting a judge
decide the merits of the case after hearing both sides seems ideal.

But, needsrentmoney, you will be questioned very sharply about what
you did to mitigate the problem. As daniel2d points out, you will
likely be asked why you didn't borow money for a few days or why you
don't save more especially if you have had a problem with the company

Keeping in mind that this isn't legal advice, I'd look into the
viability of a small claims suit.
Subject: Re: Can I take legal action if my paycheck is late ?
From: jack_of_few_trades-ga on 19 Oct 2005 11:05 PDT
I'm from another state... but I'd imagine small claims court is similar everywhere.

Once you file a claim agains the company, the court will notify them. 
Then the trial date is set way in the future (60ish days here).  There
is a small fee for filing the claim, but the company you're suing will
have to pay that if your suit is successful.

Much as the other commenters, I'm no legal expert.  But it sounds like
you have a great case that a judge would buy.  Getting the $600 for
having to move out of your apartment shouldn't be a problem.  Another
easy claim is interest for the late payments that you should have
recieved (however this is a very small amount).  You might even get
more for having to move (moving expenses, large hassle, suffering
going through an eviction).  I think going to court is well worth your
while even without a lawyer.

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