What to do when Employer does not pay your salary?

What to do when Employer does not pay your salary?

In India, the timely payment of salaries is a fundamental right of every employee. However, there are instances where employers fail to meet their obligations and employees are left unpaid. In such situations, it is crucial for employees to be aware of their legal rights and the steps they can take to address the issue.

The timely payment of salaries can be indirectly linked to the fundamental right to life and personal liberty under Article 21 of the Indian Constitution. Article 21 states that "No person shall be deprived of his life or personal liberty except according to the procedure established by law."

The Hon’ble Supreme Court of India has interpreted the scope of Article 21 expansively to include various aspects that are essential for the well-being and dignity of individuals. This includes the right to livelihood and fair wages, which can be seen as integral to a person's right to life. Therefore, the timely payment of salaries can be considered a fundamental right under Article 21, as delayed or non-payment of wages can adversely impact an employee's livelihood and well-being.

It is important to note that while the timely payment of salaries can be connected to the fundamental right under Article 21; there are specific laws in India, such as the Payment of Wages Act, 1936 that provide more direct provisions for ensuring timely payment of wages to employees. These laws establish the rights and obligations of employers and employees regarding wage payments, including the timeframes within which wages should be paid.

Following are steps that employees can pursue when their employer does not pay their salary in India.

1.     Communicate with the Employer:

The first step is to communicate with your employer about the non-payment of your salary. Maintain a written record of all communication, including emails, letters, or any other evidence that demonstrates your attempts to resolve the matter amicably. Request a meeting with your employer to discuss the issue and seek clarification on the reasons behind the non-payment.


2.     Consult a Lawyer:

If the initial communication with the employer fails to produce the intended result, it is vital to consult a lawyer for the matter. That is a vital step in knowing your remedies available to you under the law and also you will be appraised about how to pursue those remedies.


3.     Issue a Legal Notice:

After consulting a lawyer having relevant knowledge of the subject-matter, it is advisable to send a legal notice. A legal notice is a formal communication that puts the employer on notice about their failure to pay your salary. It serves as a final opportunity for the employer to rectify the situation before further legal action is initiated. The notice should clearly state the outstanding salary amount, the period for which it is due, and the consequences if the employer fails to comply.


4.     Approach the Labor Department:

If the employer still does not address the non-payment issue after receiving the legal notice, you can file a complaint with the labor department or the appropriate authority in your state. The labor department is responsible for enforcing labor laws and protecting the rights of employees. Provide them with all relevant documents, such as employment contracts, salary slips, and copies of the legal notice, to support your case.


5.     File a Case in the Concerned Court:

If the matter remains unresolved, you can file a case in the labor court. Consult an employment lawyer to guide you through the legal process. The lawyer will assist in preparing the necessary documentation, including a statement of claim detailing the facts and circumstances, supporting evidence, and relevant laws. Attend the court hearings and present your case effectively to seek a favorable judgment.


6.     Recovery of Dues:

In case the labor court rules in your favor, it may order the employer to pay your outstanding salary along with any other dues, such as interest or compensation. If the employer still refuses to comply with the court order, you can seek enforcement by requesting the court to initiate recovery proceedings, which may include seizing the employer's assets or bank accounts to recover the dues owed to you.


7.     Consult Additional Legal Remedies:

If the employer continues to disregard the court's order, you can explore further legal remedies. This may include filing a criminal complaint under relevant provisions of the Indian Penal Code, such as cheating, breach of trust, or criminal misappropriation. Consult with your lawyer to determine the appropriate course of action based on the circumstances.


Non-payment of salary is a serious violation of an employee's rights, and it is crucial to take appropriate legal steps to address the issue. By following the outlined steps, including effective communication, legal notices, approaching the labor department, and filing a case in the labor court, employees can seek redressal for unpaid salaries. It is essential to consult an experienced employment lawyer to navigate the legal process effectively and ensure the protection of your rights as an employee.


If you facing any issues related to Non-payment of Salary, please contact us at +91 9810729455 or mail us at

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