Can employer keep whole last check to apply to personal loan and keep personal belongings

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Can employer keep whole last check to apply to personal loan and keep personal belongings

My employer gave me a personal loan to be deducted biweekly
from check. They fired me and kept my entire last check and all
personal belongings until balance is paid. Is this legal?

Asked on August 20, 2018 under Employment Labor Law, Maryland

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

No, it is not legal unless you agreed to let them do this. The law is clear that an employee's paycheck, including final check, can only be withheld with employee consent (agreement) or a court order (like for wage garnishment); this is so even if the employee owes the employer money. The law is also clear that someone cannot take or hold onto another person's belongings if the first person owes them money, unless that person had actually given them those items as security for the debt.
You can sue them for the paycheck and your belongings. Bear in mind that if you do owe them money (such as an unpaid loan balance), they could countersue you for that amount; if you owe them as much or more than they owe you, you will not come out ahead.


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 AttorneyPages.com 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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