Can my manager legally take my paycheck without my permission?

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022

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Can my manager legally take my paycheck without my permission?

I am a 1099 employee and initially wanted an advance from the company. Instead my manager wrote me a personal check. We agreed on payback over the course of the next 2 weeks. He took it upon

himself to have our commissions department transfer my accounts to him and took my paycheck for the

week. What actions can I take, of any?

Asked on November 10, 2016 under Employment Labor Law, South Carolina


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

Legally, no, he cannot do this unless you had agreed to let him do (e.g. it was part of the loan agreement). In theory, you could take legal action (e.g. sue) for the money; in practice, there is probably no reason to do so, however: if you sue him for the money, he will likely countersue you for the money you owe him under the loan, since by time the case comes up, the two-week repayment period will be up and you'll have to pay--you will end up netting out to approximately the same place, if you make him return the paycheck, but then he forces you to pay the loan (unless, that is, the money you borrowed is substantially less than the paycheck he took; in that case, legal action woudl seem worthwhile).

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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