Can an employer request background checks and physicals after the job is finished in order to receive pay?

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Can an employer request background checks and physicals after the job is finished in order to receive pay?

I was hired at a high school to technical direct their school musical. I completed the job assigned to me with no problems. When I asked about my check, I was told to contact another staff member. When I contacted her I was told I had to fill out a child abuse and criminal background check for PA, an FBI fingerprint screening, have a recent doctor’s physical and a TB test before I received my paycheck. None of these things would be paid for by the school. Am I wrong to assume this screening should have been done before I was hired and completed my job?

Asked on February 11, 2011 under Employment Labor Law, Pennsylvania

Answers:

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

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

You are correct that the background checks, fingerprints, physical exam, TB test, etc. should have been done prior to being hired.  The staff member who is holding up your check is misinformed.

You should contact the school district office to have this rectified.  If you are a member of the union, your union representative should be able to assist you in the event of any further problems with receiving your check.

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

If you've done the work, you must be paid: period. While there could be an exception IF you were told in advance that you would have to pass certain screening at the end to be paid--after all, while that'd be an awful deal to take, the law doesn't stop people from taking bad deals--it would have to have been something you agreed to in advance. The employer may not add additional conditions after a person has done the work they hired to do. Doing so would be a breach of contract (independent contractor) or of labor law (employee). They can take your willingness to do these things into account if/when deciding to hire you again in the future, but that's a different story.


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