Can my employer hold my paycheck if I am being accused of stealing?

Asked on August 19, 2015 under Employment Labor Law, Michigan


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

No, your employer may not do this. There are several things they can do they could--
1 Sue you for any money they believe you stole from them and/or
2 Report you to the police since theft is a crime as well as a basis for a lawsuit and they can also
3 Fire you for cause which means no unemployment benefits.
However, an employer may not withhold any part of an employee's paycheck unless either i the employee consents or agrees to the withholding or ii the withholding is required by law, such as for taxes or court-ordered wage garnishmment.
If the employer wrongfully withholds your salary, you could sue them to get it back. But it may not be worthwhile doing so if you sue them, they'd interpose as an offset or a counterclaim the amount they believe you owe them due to theft, and if you owe them as much or more than the amount they withheld, you'd end up getting nothing back.

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