Can employer withhold your paycheck if you owe them money?

I got fired because I was around $40 short and now my employer doesn’t want to give my paycheck. I also haven’t gotten pay for working at another store.

Asked on July 19, 2012 under Employment Labor Law, Texas


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

No, your employer may NOT do this. Employers may only withhold pay 1) as required by law (e.g. FICA, wage garnishment ordered by a court) or 2) with employee consent or agreement. If you owe your employer money or cost it money, it can fire you; it can also try to sue you for the money; but it can't keep your paycheck. If you have not been paid, you could sue, including in small claims court, where you could act as your own attorney (to save legal fees) for your pay.

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