Can my husband employer hold his last pay check if he owes them money without going through an attorney or judge?

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

Advertiser Disclosure

It’s all about you. We want to help you make the right legal decisions.

We strive to help you make confident insurance and legal decisions. Finding trusted and reliable insurance quotes and legal advice should be easy. This doesn’t influence our content. Our opinions are our own.

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022Fact Checked

Get Legal Help Today

Compare Quotes From Top Companies and Save

secured lock Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

Can my husband employer hold his last pay check if he owes them money without going through an attorney or judge?

My husband was head of Maint acne for an apartment complex. They fired him for pawning something of the companies yesterday. His supervisor called me today and said the owner of the company is pressing charges, wants us out of our apartment that we live in ASAP on the same property he works at and keeping his last check which is due to be deposited after midnight tonight. Can they kick us out that fast and keep his check as well? Do they have to go through legal channels or can they just keep his money and change the locks on me tomorrow? Without his check, I can’t move anywhere.

Asked on May 16, 2018 under Employment Labor Law, Florida


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

1) They can evict you if you husband is terminated, if the unit was something he received as part of his employment. They cannot simply change the locks but rather need to go through the proper eviction process in/through court. If they do simply change the locks, you can go to your county court and get an order letting you back in until they evict you properly; you may also be entitled to some monetary compensation. But bear in mind that if the unit was part of job, they will be able to get you out once they do it the right way.
2) They cannot simply hold or take his check: the law is very clear that employees must be paid all wages, even if they owe the employer money. You could in theory sue for the paycheck, but bear in mind that if your husband did pawn something belonging to the company, they could counterclaim for the value of what he pawned, or at least raise its value in your lawsuit against them as a "set-off," or credit against, what they owe you. If what he took has approximately the same value as his paycheck, there is likely no point in suing: you will not net out ahead, once their claim is netted out against yours.

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.

Get Legal Help Today

Find the right lawyer for your legal issue.

secured lock Secured with SHA-256 Encryption