Dear Ask the Attorney:
Recently I was laid off from my job. My last paycheck was mailed to me and when I tried to deposit it, it was returned for insufficient funds. I contacted my employer and he replaced the check with a new one, but that one also was returned. This is not the first time this has happened but at the time I was still employed with the company and he always made good on the check. Now, he won’t even take my call.
What should I do?
Our guest blogger is once again, Andrew S. Berns, Esq. who is Chair of Einhorn Harris, Ascher Barbarito & Frost, PC’s commercial litigation practice which includes employment law, small and closely held business representation, personal injury, workers’ compensation and construction litigation matters; Mr. Berns is also the Chairman of the New Jersey State Ethics Commission.
You can file an administrative action with the NJ Department of Labor online to report the employer and to seek to have the State agency compel your former employer to provide payment for the services you rendered. Under N.J. law, in addition to the liability of the employer entity, the owners and officers of the company may be personally liable to satisfy the outstanding amount you are owed.
In addition to filing a formal complaint with the Dept. of Labor, you should consider speaking with an attorney who specializes in employment law. A professional will advise you of your rights and responsibilities to insure you get what you are entitled to.
Keep in mind that although the employer is personally liable, going after him or her and pursuing this matter through legal channels takes time and patience!