I joined this start up a couple of months ago. Theres never any cash on hand and they can never pay their bills, especially payroll. I never get my pay on time, and when I do, its cash or a personal check thats the net pay of what I used to make under the payroll provider. Theres never any notification of pay being delivered no matter late it is. Is it illegal to withhold pay like this? I'm pretty sure its illegal to pay a W-2 employee in cash, and especially when they are not paying the taxes. I plan to quit because of all this, so if they withhold my paychecks after I give notice, what actions can I take?
Yes, this is definitely a labor and employment issue and you should contact an experienced employment attorney immediately.
This answer does not constitute legal advice and you should contact an attorney to confirm or research further any statements made in this answer. Any statements of fact or law I have made in this answer pertain solely to New York State and should not be relied upon in any way in any other jurisdiction.
The actions and omissions described in your question are probably unlawful in several ways. There are very strict laws governing how employers must pay their employees, and it sounds like your employer violates many of them. You should contact an experienced employment/labor attorney ASAP.
You need to speak to a lawyer ASAP. What is going on at your work is not right. Most lawyers offer free consultations and can outline your rights and options for you. Just look up a lawyer here on Avvo. That's pretty easy.
As far as what actions to take ... for now, I would just get your stuff organized. By "stuff" I mean your pay stubs or cancelled checks (you may be able to get cancelled checks from your bank), and think through the timeline of events at your work.
Definitely call someone soon and get help.
If you are not being paid, my advice is to stop going to work until you are paid, in advance.
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