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

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

Answers:

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.


IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although AttorneyPages.com has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.