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Can I file for unemployment compensation for failure to pay my salary?

by Brendon

I live in PA, which is an 'at-will' employment state. I have not left my job, yet, as I've been trying to 'line my ducks up' first. The most compelling reason to successfully file for unemployment, I believe, is that I have regularly and routinely been paid very late, and am currently behind 3 full pay periods. My employer has also prepared pay-stubs which would suggest that I have been paid 'out of sequence'- for example, I received one pay period of salary on Dec. 30th for a pay-stub which suggested that it was for salary during Dec. 1-15, 2009. I have not been paid for time worked- Sept. 27-Oct. 15, 2007 (yes, that is a 7),Nov. 15-30, 2009 and Dec. 15-31, 2009 (and to present). Most recently, a abrupt decision was made to suspend medical coverage with NO warning, and indeed, so that my employer could pay himself.

I have also been subject to a littany of overtly hostile, degrading, and humiliating corrective lectures screamed at top volume and when pointed out, an apparent 'hearing impediment' is cited to explain the volume level. Further, I have been asked to submit and prepare knowingly fraudulent invoicing documents AND double-billing- these are documents submitted to public entites as the company I work for is a 100% grant-funded 501(c)3, which, incidentally, my employer has "loaned" himself over $8,000 from- which I CAN prove, and IS documented.

I think the non-payment of salary is enough to walk- but, I want to know which 'facts' are the most meritorious to list on my claim. And, does filing an unemployment claim for leaving a situation where my salary appears unlikely to be paid- and hasn't negate my ability to submit a claim under the Wage Payment and Collection Law? A statutory provision that provides an administrative remedy to collect unpaid wages, and subjects the wages to liquidated damages on top of that.

Hi Brendon,

I think I would file the unpaid wage complaint first.

Additionally if you are being asked to do fraudulent things it may be good cause for quitting, but I would also file a complaint with the appropriate state agency as well.

Can I do both? Which of the 'issues' should I list on (1) my letter of "acknowledgement of lay-off" to the Board of Directors and (2) on the Claim Form when I file? I'm not planning to 'quit' but, recognize what my employer won't- that he can't pay me, and that therefore, I must be 'laid off' until the outlook improves.

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