What to do if I was not paid my last paycheck?

I was hired on as a contractor for a residential computer repair company I quit but they have failed to pay me my full check. The pay scale was 10% commission plus $8 per hour. The company does pay for gas or mileage which they stated up front but they also made it seem as if would be getting jobs near home and 40-50 hours a week. Neither of these were true and I quit. Now he’s sent me a check for much less than I figured I am owed and has stated that I signed a policy which forfeited commission if I quit. Do I have the right to request these documents and can I sue anyways since he misrepresented the job in the first place?

Asked on October 26, 2011 under Employment Labor Law, Texas


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

1) If you did the work, you must be paid according to the terms and conditions under which you did the work--so if you did work for which you should be paid $X, you need to be paid $X.

2) However, an agreement under which you forfeit or give you your right to some of that pay in the event you quit is enforceable. If you actually signed the stated agreement, that would allow the employer to not pay you the commission.

3) Did you or did you not sign the agreement he describes? You should remember (and ideally, keep a copy of) anything you sign like that. If you can't recall, you can *ask* for a copy--but the employer is no obligated to produce it for you unless you sue and use the legal mechanisms of a lawsuit to obtain the documentation.

Given that lawsuits cost time and money--and are not guaranteed to be successful--you need to decide whether filing a lawsuit is economically worthwhile.

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