“If my employer paid me late, and I incurred overdraft charges as a result, what can I do?”

Question: Hi! What can I do if in my employment contract it said that I would be paid each 15th day of the month, and each 30th day of the month, but due to my employer’s lateness in depositing my payments, I incurred an overdraft charge?

Yorkshire, England

Answer: You can and should do two things:

First, you should try to find out why the payment(s) were late. Was a clerk on vacation, did the company have a problem with cash-flow, or perhaps did the employer believe your contract said something different? Finding out the “root cause” of a problem is your first task, because it is the key to (a) preventing its recurrence, and (b) your success in your second step.

Second, respectfully, but without hesitation, let your employer know that payment(s) were late, that it was due to their fault or error, you incurred an overdraft charge as a result, and that you would expect the employer to reimburse you for the financial charge incurred.

Companies are not different than people: they should make amends for their errors and the harm their errors have caused. So long as you act in a respectful fashion, there should be no repercussions to you, and your chances of reimbursement are pretty good.

Of course, you could also bring the matter to your country’s version of our “small claims courts” but we usually do not recommend such adversarial actions in light of the potential harm to your employment relations.

Thanks for writing in. Hope you’re enjoying our blog.

Best, Al Sklover

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© 2010 Alan L. Sklover, All Rights Reserved.

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