Can my employer stop my direct deposit and hold my paycheck until my uniform is returned?

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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Can my employer stop my direct deposit and hold my paycheck until my uniform is returned?

On my last day, I tried to return my employer issued apron but my manager said that I needed to wash it before returning it. He also said that I could get my last paycheck direct deposited as usual if I returned the apron before the next pay period, otherwise I would be issued a check and then given that upon

returning the apron. This seems like an unnecessary hassle. Is that all legal?

Asked on December 10, 2018 under Employment Labor Law, Ohio


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

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

An employee must be paid for all hours worked. Withholding a paycheck is illegal unless it is allowed pursuant to the terms of a union agreement or employment contract. That's not to say that they can't charge you for the uniform but they would have to sue you to recoup the cost; withholding your paycheck is not legal. 

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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