Can an employer withhold my last paycheck?

My former employer is attempting to withhold my final paycheck. I left the facility without a formal notice due to safety issues within the company. I have filed a demand letter requesting my final check in 10 days. My employer has notified me that they will not be giving me my check because I did not give a formal notice. Is this legal?

Asked on July 25, 2012 under Employment Labor Law, Georgia


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

It is not legal:

1) First, notice is not required unless you have an employment contract stating you must give notice.

2) Second, even if notice were required, an employer could still not withhold your paycheck unless you had agreed to let the employer withhold it in the event you failed to provide notice. Employers may only withhold paychecks:

a) when the employee consents or agrees

b) when required by law, such as FICA withholding, wage garnishment for tax debts or child support, etc.

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