Can my employer hold my last paycheck until uniform pants are returned?

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Can my employer hold my last paycheck until uniform pants are returned?

I returned the pants but did not get them checked in, so they are saying they won’t pay me until they are returned. Pay day was over 2 weeks ago.

Asked on April 6, 2012 under Employment Labor Law, Washington

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

No, your employer may not do this. Employers are not permitted to withhold paychecks because they feel that the employee owes them money and/or some item (such as uniform pants).

As a practical matter, depending on how expensive the pants are, it might be best to pay the employer the cost of them, if they can't be found and checked in. While that is unfair, if your employer refuses to give you the check, you'd have to sue to get it; and while you'd almost certainly win, even in small claims court, that would cost you $25 - $50 for filing fees and could take months.


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