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Employer will not pay me the wages that were held back when I began employment

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Junior Member
What is the name of your state? NC
I worked with the same employer for 18 yrs. I terminated employment in Feb.'06 on good terms. I was not reimbursed for the week's wages withheld on me when I "started" working. This is kind of confusing but actually me & three other employees were not withheld when we were first employed but our employer held us back when it was discovered that it had not been done. This took place about 10-12 years after first being employed. I was never reimbursed for this. The other ladies were reimbursed for their withheld wages back in 2005. They were salaried employees. I was hourly. My former employer is under the impression that I need to provide proof that I was never reimbursed for this. Am I responsible for proving this information? Or is he? Our pay-roll lady affirmed that I was not reimbursed at the same time as the others. Can you please tell me what my options are regarding this & would the reimbursement be the amount that I earned weekly so many years ago or would it be my hourly wages when I left my job? Thank you for any help that you can give me. My former boss can be a real horse's patooty! Pam


Senior Member
I'm not sure you weren't. Are you positive you just weren't paid "in arrears"? See, 18 years later, the DOL is not going to take a claim for unpaid wages. If you weren't paid in accordance with the law at the beginning, then would have been the time to address it. Not 18 years later.


Junior Member
Apparently I did not make myself clear..... you know how when you start a new job your employer usually holds you back either a week or two in paying you? That's what I was talking about. When you leave the place of employment then you are due that amount on your last check. He thought that when he "caught up" the other ladies that he had caught me up as well but he did not! That is per Millie who was doing our payroll at the time. What do I need to do???? Is he not responsible for keeping up with that? Do I need to go to the labor board or would I be wasting my time?


I'm a Northern Girl
I'm still not convinced that this was not a case of paying in arrears, which is a lot more likely, and happens FAR more often, than an employer just "holding back a check" when you begin employment.


Senior Member
When employers "hold back" a week's wages it doesn't mean that they are holding that particular week's wages until the employee leaves the company! That would be illegal and if your employer had done that to you, you should have reported this to the DOL in a timely fashion, like right away, and not waited 18 years!

When employers "hold back" a week's wages, it means they're holding that week's wages UNTIL THE NEXT PAYDAY! So for example, if your first week of employment is called Week A (and your second is Week B and so on), and paydays are at the end of each week, then your employer would "hold back" Week A's wages until the end of Week B. You'd be paid Week A's wages at the end of Week B, and you'd be paid Week B's wages at the end of Week C, and you'd be paid Week C's wages at the end of Week D and so on. If your last week with the company is Week T, you'd be paid Week T's wages at the end of Week U.

And you'll probably be paid the wages you're owed a short period of time after you stop working for this company.


Junior Member
It didn't happen! Actually, when he (employer) found out that he had neglected to hold a week of our wages back when we were first employed that's when he decided to take one week of a two week pay period SEVERAL years after the fact!!!! He didn't even tell ME of the decision but had informed two of the other ladies that it was taking place! They thought that I had been told so didn't mention it to me. I was so young & trusting at that point that I didn't question anything. It did make me angry enough though that I was packing up my personal stuff to leave. My supervisor at the time talked me out of it & the boss actually told me that if I needed to borrow money until my next pay-period that I could borrow it from him!!!! I refused, of course. This is the same person that said in a meeting of investors that you could treat your employees like dogs....just throw them a bone every now & then & they would be perfectly content! Sorry, I don't mean to digress from the matter at hand but old memories die hard! What do you guys think? I need some input & will compile your answers & make a decision on the next step! Thanks, Pam

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