Q: Can an employer refuse to pay their staff after saying that they would for a certain amount of time?
My employer told those who qualified would receive pay from March 19th- April 2nd. We were just told today that we would not be receiving said pay the day before we would get paid. Just wondering if they actually can do that.
A: I would look at the promise to pay as a contract type of agreement. To have a legal contract there must be an offer and acceptance and "consideration". "Consideration" means that each party agrees to provide something of value to the other. This can be an affirmative offering of something, or an agreement not to do something. Thus, for instance, consideration can involve agreeing not to compete with another business. Second, contracts require a clear offer and acceptance. Contracts are not necessarily created just because one party offers something to another. Typically, a clear acceptance is required. In offering and accepting a contract, the parties must also have a “meeting of the minds” as to what the contract entails. Both parties cannot believe that they are agreeing to entirely different contracts. I would believe that the employees would have accepted the offer so the only defense could be that the terms were not specific enough to be enforced, such the wage rate to be paid and whether it was to be wage replacement. If the employer refuses to follow through perhaps you would be eligible for unemployment benefits. Best of luck to you.
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