Can an employer withhold your paycheck for not signing a write-up because you did not have the time to come in to?

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Can an employer withhold your paycheck for not signing a write-up because you did not have the time to come in to?

I had to call in to work because my car broke down in a city an hour away from work while I was on my way to work. I called in late and my boss told me to sign a write up. Her office is only open Monday

through Thursday from 8am to 5 pm. And I only work with her on weekends Saturday and Sunday from 7 pm to 7 am. Therefore, I have a 2nd and 3rd job during the week. Usually she lets my mother pick up my check since she knows us well enough as my mother and I work for the same company. My boss has told me that she will not let my mother pick it up unless I come in and sign the write up after I told

her I am at my 2nd job and don’t have the time. I offered alternatives and still nothing.

Asked on June 23, 2017 under Employment Labor Law, Texas

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

No, this is not legal: employers may not withhold employee pay or checks for any reason other than with employee agreement or as required by law (e.g. pursuant to a court order). There are things she may legally due for your failure to come in and sign a write-up: she could suspend you, reduce your hours or pay (as long as it stays at least equal to minimum wage), change your job, even terminate you; however, no matter what, she has to pay you for work done and cannot withhold the check.
Of course, if she won't voluntarily give you the check, you will have to either file a complaint with the department of labor for it, and/or sue her in court. It is likely easier to find the time, even if it means calling out of another job for a few hours, to go in and sign the write-up.


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