Can my old job make me return a prize before giving me my final check

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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Can my old job make me return a prize before giving me my final check

My old job wont give me my paycheck because
they said i have to return a prize that i had
won at a christmas party

Asked on January 31, 2019 under Employment Labor Law, Utah


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

As a general matter, the law is clear that employee paychecks may not be withheld without employee consent. Employees whose checks are improperly withheld may sue for them (e.g. in small claims court). So the issue is whether that contract you mention constitutes your consent to have the check withheld unless you return the prize. If it can be shown that you signed the contract and that it states something to the effect that your check may be withheld until and unless you return the prize, they may withhold the check until you do.

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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