Is it legal for your ex-employer to hold your final paycheck because you don’t have the uniforms anymore?

I went to go pick up my check at my ex job and I was told that I’m not allowed for my check to be released since I haven’t turned my uniforms in. I was never told this so I threw them away. So now they won’t give me my check if I don’t bring in the 2 shirts that I threw away.

Asked on February 16, 2016 under Employment Labor Law, Texas


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

No, they are NOT allowed to withhold your paycheck for this reason, and if they won't give you the check, you may sue them for it (e.g. in small claims court); employers may only withhold paychecks with employee consent (i.e. agreement) or as required by law (e.g. court ordered wage garnishment or tax withholding).
If they feel that you owe them the money for the uniforms, they have the right to sue you for the money (or could interpose what you owe them as a counterclaim or a set-off against what they owe you, if you sue them--e.g. you could sue for the paycheck, they could countersue for the cost of the uniforms).

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