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Employment Law/Payroll Cycle Change

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Question
I work for a copy that decided to change the pay cycle from biweekly to semimonthly in the later part of 2011.  This was communicated to us regarding the change.  Upon the implementation of the change, staff noticed that our pay on the first check after implementation was higher than expected.  This was not communicated to us prior to the change.  Now that our company is being sold, the company is mandating that we pay back the extra monies issued.  Is there any employer liability regarding this calculation error on their part.  I feel we should have been given more time to repay the extra monies issued once the error was discovered instead of mandating a payback in a two month time frame.  I'm I way off base on this one or do I actually have a legal stance?

Answer
Alexander - The only rule that applies is that your check cannot be reduced to such an extent that it amounts to less than minimum wage for every hour of work during the pay period.  If that would be the result, the money has to be reduced over more than one paycheck.

Have you done the calculations to assure yourself that the amount the company claims is owing is the correct amount?  A twice monthly check would be for an amount larger than an every two weeks check in most instances, because of the additional days involved.  

If you conclude that the amount they are deducting is correct, and the check is not for less than minimum wage times hours worked, you have no claim that they are behaving illegally.  

Employment Law

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Margaret M. deMarteleire

Expertise

I can answer most questions about employment law, federal or state. I am an attorney, not an HR professional, so questions about HR careers, coursework, prospects, etc. are not within my scope.

Experience

Attorney for 20 years, currently working exclusively with employment law - FLSA, FMLA, federal contracts, pay, etc.

Education/Credentials
Temple University School of Liberal Arts, BA, Rhetoric & Communication, 1982 Temple University School of Law, JD, 1990 Certificate in HR, Cornell University ILR School, 2006

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