Can a employer hold your check without proof of a crime?

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Can a employer hold your check without proof of a crime?

Asked on October 31, 2011 under Employment Labor Law, Alaska

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

The only grounds for an employer holding or not paying your paycheck is if there is some doubt about whether you actually did the work, and the employer needs to look into the situation. For example, if you submitted a time sheet showing you worked 38 hours, but your manager thinks you only worked 18, the employer could hold onto the check for a short time while looking into that situation.

If the employer believes that you may owe them money for some other reason--that you stole from them; that you lost or broke company equipment or inventory; etc.--then the company's option is to sue you for the money they claim you owe. They can't hold your paycheck for that reason.

If you allegedly did something criminal which does not involve the company (i.e. stole from customer), they could certainly fire you  if appropriate, but can't hold your paycheck.


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