Can an employer keep your last pay check and physical property?

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Can an employer keep your last pay check and physical property?

I obtained my CDL 2 years ago. Have a clean driving record. No accidents. No tickets. I was working for this guy who owns this small truck fleet. The agreement was that wed go 50/50 on the fuel. As well as 50/50 on the checks. He was in charge of the maintenance done on all of his trucks of course. Which he failed many times to do so, on my last week because of the poor maintenance, the fuel tank was rusty and corroded. On my last run the fuel tank developed a hole which in retrospect could have been deadly. When I told him, he ignored it and went about his day. He then went around telling workers that I must have done this myself. The freight broker I was working with required a $2000 escrow which would be given back if the driver left and had no accidents nor problems with the equipment returned. Which I had no problems and everything was looking good as for me getting that money back. I was getting paid under a 1099. The last 2 weeks I worked for him, I let him know in advance. By this time I had already bought my own truck and was ready to get rolling on my own. He did not pay me my last week of work and called the freight broker to let him know not to send me my escrow check. Also, I told him not to send me any further pay stubs nor check. Which he kept and is refusing to give. Stating that I owe him money and that it was not a very manly thing to do and quit on him. He proceeded to hide the truck, keep my personal property which he didnt let me retrieve. I had let him know months in advance that I was in the process of buying my own truck in order to move on to bigger and better things. After I gave him all of his property back fuel card, fuel receipts, and final paperwork he stopped answering my calls, my messages to see when he would be available for me to pick up my last check and property. What stood out was that I am not the first person he does this to. He fired an ex-co-worker recently and did the exact thing to him and another driver. We are hoping to build a case to get the money that is owed to us. What can I do?

Asked on February 21, 2019 under Employment Labor Law, Illinois

Answers:

S.L,. Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

You can sue your former employer for breach of contract / account stated for the money you are owed. Your lawsuit should have an additional cause of action (claim) for conversion which is theft in a civil case for your former employer not returning your equipment.


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