Can my former employer legally hold my last check?

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Can my former employer legally hold my last check?

I live in Ohio and I was recently working for a tow company. I resigned due to schedule conflicts. I went to pick up my last check and my employer informed me that they are keeping my whole check due to

Asked on July 16, 2019 under Employment Labor Law, Ohio

Answers:

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

Answered 1 year ago | Contributor

A paycheck can only be deducted from or withheld outright for something legally required to be paid (i.e. taxes, child support, etc.) or possibly for an accidental overpayment (depending on specific state law). However, withholding your pay for the incident that you describe is illegal. If your former employer wants reimbursement for the damages claimed, then they can sue you in small claims court. At this point, you can file a wage claim with your state's department of labor or you can sue them in small claims.

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 1 year ago | Contributor

No, it's not legal. IF--for the sake of argument--you caused damage which they had to pay for, you would be liable for that, but if you refuse to agree to reimburse them for it, they'd have to sue you and prove in court that you were at-fault for causing damage for which they had to pay. The law is very clear that an employee's paycheck may never be withheld without employee consent (agreement) or a court order (such as for wage garnishment). You could contact the state department of labor to file a complaint for the money.


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