paying of invoices

I am owed money from a company but they are refusing to pay saying until invoices that I owe another company are paid out. I have an insurance claim involving the invoices going and the company refusing to pay me has nothing to do with that at all. can they legally hold my pay

Asked on October 26, 2017 under Business Law, Louisiana


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

You can sue them for the money (e.g. in small claims court, as your own attorney or "pro se"); alternately, you could report this to the state or federal department(s) of labor and see if they can help you. The law is clear that an employer may NOT withhold employee pay, even if the employee owes them (or any other company, such as an affiliate or a company with co-ownership) money, except--
1) If the employee consented or agreed to let the employer withhold the money (such as in an agreement to repay some debt); or
2) There was a court or IRS/tax authority-ordered wage garnishment.
Other than as 1) or 2), withholding your wages are illegal. If you do owe someone money (such as that other company), the way for them to legally try to get money from you is to sue you, not withhold your pay unless you agreed to let them do this.

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