Can my former employer hold my final paycheck if owe the company money?

Get Legal Help Today

 Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

Can my former employer hold my final paycheck if owe the company money?

I worked at a vets office and owe for services and medications. I was fired on Aug 2nd and have still not received my final paycheck. My previous employer wants me to sign an agreement for a payment plan, one I cannot sign until I have deposited my paycheck. I have asked her 3 times regarding it, asked her to mail it to me. I was always paid through direct deposit but she wanted me to pick this check up and pay my balance in full. I do not feel comfortable going back there to pick it up. I have no money to make a payment with and have not even been able to collect unemployment benefits yet due to a dispute.

Asked on August 21, 2017 under Employment Labor Law, South Carolina

Answers:

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

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

No, your former employer cannot withhold your final paycheck, even if you owe them money. The fact is that one thing has nothing to do with the other. Now, this doesn't mean that you don't owe the money, just that your paycheck cannot be witheld because of that. If your employer wants to get what is owed they can either work out a repayment agreement with you (but still pay you your check) or sue you in small claims court. On your part, if  you cannot get your wages, you too can sue in small claims court and/or file a wage complaint with your state's department of labor.

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

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

No, your former employer cannot withhold your final paycheck, even if you owe them money. The fact is that one thing has nothing to do with the other. Now, this doesn't mean that you don't owe the money, just that your paycheck cannot be witheld because of that. If your employer wants to get what is owed they can either work out a repayment agreement with you (but still pay you your check) or sue you in small claims court. On your part, if  you cannot get your wages, you too can sue in small claims court and/or file a wage complaint with your state's department of labor.


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.

Get Legal Help Today

Find the right lawyer for your legal issue.

 Secured with SHA-256 Encryption