Can I sue my employer for an unpaid check?

UPDATED: Sep 2, 2011

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Can I sue my employer for an unpaid check?

I am a student and I usually work part time jobs during summers. This summer my last pay check was bounced off because of insufficient fund and I was charged for the returned check. I contacted my employer to write me another check but he ignored me since I am not going to work for him again. It is not a big sum of money but I am so angry at his deeds. He might have done it deliberately. I need to sue him so that he can take a lesson. Where shall I go and open the case, labor office or a court? I don’t have any idea about court cases.

Asked on September 2, 2011 under Employment Labor Law, Georgia


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

This is a private dispute between two parties, and one involving one check to one person for, as you say, "not a big sum of money"--it is very unlikely the Labor Dept. would get involved. On the hand, you may sue your former employer for the money he owes you--you are legally entitled to it. For a smaller sum, the best bet is probably small claims court--low filing fees, and you can represent yourself (no need for a lawyer). Contact your county court, the small claims court division, either online or in person--you should be able to find forms and instructions. Note that in addition to suing for the wages themselves, if you incurred other costs--like returned check fee--you may be able to recover those costs, too. Good luck.

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