Can an employer withhold wages without legal proof of wrongdoing?

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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Can an employer withhold wages without legal proof of wrongdoing?

My daughter was employed at a daycare and quit her job due to some accusations made against her, when she went to collect her final check her employer had withheld money saying that she committed fraud on her time card. She has no proof of these charges but withheld money anyhow. Is there any legal action that can be taken against her employer for doing this?

Asked on January 7, 2019 under Employment Labor Law, Wyoming


M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

As a general rule, all wages earned must be paid. However, company policy may address what action can be taken in the event of a dispute regarding the accuracy of an employee's timecard. That having been said if there is no such ploicy, or even if there is, an employee should at the minium be given written explaination as to why their timecard has been deemed to be inaccurate. The fact is that not paying wages when due can be considered to be a form of theft on the part of an employer. In many states, it can be difficult to make a deduction to an employee’s wages to correct time theft in a way that’s in compliance with the law. At this point, your daughter should contact your state's department of labor to file a wage claim compliant and to get further information regading this situation.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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