If an employee stole from a company, was arrested and then fired, should their last paycheck be held back until the matter is resolved?

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If an employee stole from a company, was arrested and then fired, should their last paycheck be held back until the matter is resolved?

Asked on June 2, 2012 under Employment Labor Law, Washington

Answers:

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

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

In your state an employer must issue a final paycheck to an employee who has been terminated on or before the next regularly scheduled pay date. There are no circumstances under which an employer can totally withhold a final paycheck under state law. Employers are typically required to issue a final paycheck containing compensation for all earned, unpaid wages.

If fact if you are found guilty of the charges that you were arrested for, the court will order restitution and/or your former employer can sue you for damages in civil court to recover any losses.

Bottom line, if you don't receive your finalpaycheck you can file a complaint with your state's department of labor and/or consult with an empolyment law attorney in your state.


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