Can an employer hold your last paycheck

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Can an employer hold your last paycheck

I was terminated on 09/09 by the HR director claiming that I terminated an

employee 1 day later than they was supposed to be termed. This was done after

an email from the HR director instructing me to do so. I was not given my final

check on Friday and instructed to come back on Monday. When I came back on

Monday, the director was conveniently on vacation. I went in today to pick up

my check 6 days after termination. I was told that my check was being held and

is under investigation because they believe that I was being paid for the

position I was promoted earlier than I was actually promoted. She said that they started paying me my promotion rate 9 months ago and shouldn’t have been paid this rate until a month later..

Is this legal?

Asked on September 15, 2016 under Employment Labor Law, Nevada

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

No, this is not legal:
1) Even if there were a legitimate investigation or you arguably owed them reimbursement or compensation, an employer may NOT hold an employee's paycheck or take money allegedly owed out of it. The employee must be paid--including his/her final paycheck--on time; the employer may sue them later for any money they believe the employee owes them.
2) If they made a mistake and started paying you early, that is not your problem--you are still entitled to the money they voluntarily paid you at the time, even if in retrospect they decided that they should have paid you less. Only if YOU did something improper to cause them to pay you the wrong amount (e.g. falsified paperwork) would they have grounds to recover that money from you--but even then, would have to pay you for all work done to date at the rate/salary you were working at when you did the work, and would have to sue you for the money back.
So if you are not paid what you should be, you could sue the employer, such as in small claims court (on a "pro se" basis, or as your own attorney, to save on legal fees) for the money.


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