Employees Must be Paid for Work Done…No Matter What!

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I was talking with a friend recently. He is an employee in a local small business.  At the beginning of this month, his employer told him that he wouldn’t be able to pay him for the first two weeks of the year (even though he had worked) because the company just didn’t have the money to pay his wages. So my friend’s question was whether this was legal. No, it isn’t!

Employees have a right to be paid for the work they perform. It doesn’t matter whether the company is low on money, has no money or needs to pay off other debts. Employees must be paid and must be paid on a regular basis (weekly, bi-weekly or monthly) at least once every 31 days according to Minnesota law. These are obligations that can’t be altered.

A similar Minnesota law states that terminated employees must be paid immediately at the time of discharge. If the wages aren’t paid and the employee makes a demand for them, the employer then has 24 hours to pay the unpaid wages or risks a penalty equivalent of a day’s wages, up to 15 days.

For more information about your rights and obligations under Minnesota employment laws, as either an employer or employee, contact Attenza Law.


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