HELP in Louisiana.....I need to know??!!

Can an employer, who has been paying hourly employees semi-monthly (2 times per month) all of a sudden decide to hold 1/2 a month pay? The reasoning is so that if an employee terminates the company will still owe them 1/2 month wages. The employer is paying the Christmas bonus instead of the hourly wages to compensate and "tide the employee over" during this process.

Sorry it's a bit confusing but let me know if you need additional info.

Thanks for the help


  • 5 Comments sorted by Votes Date Added

  • Why do you want to owe them 1/2 month wages? I think, bottom-line, that wages must be paid on prescribed pay days, either weekly or semi-monthly. The Christmas bonus really isn't a bonus,is it? I just don't think you can legally do this.

  • FLSA doesn't address the timing of payment, but I'd be reasonably sure Lousiana state law does. Generally, state regs will tell you how long you can hold wages. Even if you could do what you describe, why not start with new emp/ees, it wouldn't change payroll procedure so it shouldn';t be a burden. Trying to change with present employees just sounds like bad practice.
  • I don't know if LA has a state law prohibiting this. If you haven't already, try searching the archives of articles from Louisiana Employment Law Letter in the Subscribers Area of this website. (If you're a subscriber, that is.)

    James Sokolowski
  • Rather than searching for something you may not ever find, it will be much easier to call your Louisiana Dept of Labor and simply ask the question about state law. There is no federal regulation on this. If there's no state law, then all your company is doing is abandoning good sense.
  • I read through the Labor & Employment book for Louisiana and it seems to be a legal thing to do.....Fortunately, this is not the company I work for. A co-workers daughter is employed by a LAW FIRM who is in the process of doing this. Since it is a LAW FIRM I guess they should've already covered their bases in regards to legal issues.....BUT, I agree, just doesn't seem like the right thing to do. And, that's true too, the Christmas bonus REALLY isn't a bonus when given in this manner.

    Thanks for your replies.
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