Can my last checks be held until I find a piece of lost equipment?

Asked on September 4, 2015 under Employment Labor Law, Alabama

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

No, an employer may never hold an employee's paycheck because they feel the employee owes them money for some reason e.g. for lost equipment, unless the employee agrees to let them do this e.g. the employee says, "I lost the equipment--how about you keep my last paycheck and we call it even?" and the employer agrees. The employer's obligation to pay you for all work you did is separate and distinct from any claims they have against you for lost equipment. You may sue them to get your checks...and they, of course, may sue you for the value of the equipment you failed to return. Since litigation suing has its own costs in terms of time, money, and distraction, it is probably best if you and your employer work matters out voluntarily, rather than by suing each other.


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