Can an employer fire you then tell you they are going to with hold your last paycheck until you sign a letter of resignation.

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Can an employer fire you then tell you they are going to with hold your last paycheck until you sign a letter of resignation.

Can an employer fire you then tell you they are going
to with hold your last paycheck until you sign a letter
of resignation?

Hello Alyssa, I will need you to return the uniforms
and sign your resignation letter before I can release
your final paycheck. Please let me know when you
can come by to do that so I can have the letter
prepared for you to sign. Thank you.

Asked on May 3, 2019 under Employment Labor Law, Florida

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 2 years ago | Contributor

No, they can't do this. Resignation is purely voluntary; you can't be forced to resign or sign a resignation letter. Furthermore, the law is very clear: you are entitled to your final paycheck and it cannot be withheld for any reason without your consent (e.g. if owed your employer money and agreed to let them take your check to pay it off) or a court order (such as for or from child support). It is illegal for them to withhold your check, and you could take legal action (e.g. sue in small claims court) to force them to give it to you.
If they want you sign a resignation letter, they have to make it worth your while: for example, they could offer you severance if you'll sign the letter. But they can't force you to do this.
Note that if you sign a resignation letter, you can't get unemployment, so don't agree to this unless you are willing to take whatever they offer in exchange for not getting unemployment (or would not get unemployment anyway, such as if you already have a new job).


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