How can I get my ex-employer to pay my me my last 2 paychecks?

I worked for my ex employer for almost 3 years. On September 8, 2017 I came in to work after my day off and he said he needed to speak to me in the office. Once in there he proceeded to accuse me of stealing money from the store and wanted me to tell him if I had or not. I tried to leave and he told me he wasn’t going to let me leave until a admitted to stealing and gave him all cash I had on me and signed over my car to him and he was keeping my last 2 checks as payment. If I didn’t, he was going

to have me arrested and make sure it was for a felony and so on. Long story short I refused my

husband had to come get me so he would let me leave. He sent me a txt the next day still

threatening to go to police. A couple weeks later the cops arrested both my husband and I because he said I stole over $2,000 or more from him and that my husband assaulted him so I could leave and threatened him with a gun. Anyways, we both had to bail out my bail was $1,100 and my husband we had to pay $150. I’ve been without a job since that day because of the stress and me being scared that people wouldn’t hire me because of his false accusations and knowing I couldnt let them call him about my performance because he told me he would make sure no one will hire me after what he planned on telling them. Anyway, the courts dropped everything with both mine and husband’s case because of lack of evidence and they found out he lied. Can we sue him for doing this? Can I get him to pay my last 2 checks that I definitely deserve? Also, I live 2 minutes from the business and yet have not received my W-2 for taxes yet and I’m sure he won’t send them either.

Asked on March 5, 2018 under Employment Labor Law, Mississippi

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 2 years ago | Contributor

1) Even if you had stolen--and we're not saying you did; just assuming for the moment that you had--he'd *still* have to pay you. An employer's obligation to pay an employee for all work done is completely independent of whether the employee has done anything criminal or negligent to the employer. If you worked, you must be paid for it; if he will not pay you, you can sue him for the money.
2) You can also sue him for defamation: defamation is to the making to other people of a false statement of fact about you which damages your repuation or causes you some other harm. Lying about you stealing and causing you to therefore be arrested seems to be defamation and you may be entitled to compensation for it.
3) You can possibly also sue him for "malicious use of process" (your state may have a different name for it), which is intentionally or deliberately misusing the legal (e.g. criminal justice) system for an improper purpose, such as to pressure you into giving him money or your car.
You therefore seem to have several possible causes of action against him and should consult with an attorney about suing him.
4) As to the W-2: you'll have to file as best you can without it; there is no practical way to make him provide one. Your pay stubs should have all the information you or tax preparer need.


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