If my employer owes me commission, can I legally deposit third-party checks into my account?

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If my employer owes me commission, can I legally deposit third-party checks into my account?

I work in commission sales for a roofing company. My employer owes me commission payments but has not paid. I have the checks from the insurance companies endorsed by the homeowners (check’s are made out to homeowners). I just want my money due and want to know if I deposit these checks into my account will I be breaking any laws and can the employer sue me if the amount owed is the amount collected from the insurance companies? He has not paid me in 2.5 months.

Asked on September 20, 2010 under Employment Labor Law, Texas

Answers:

M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

I know that it may be very tempting to deposit the checks and take the money owed to you but I urge you NOT to do it.  It could be a form of embezzlement and you could be in a lot of trouble.  You have a dispute with your employer.  You need to  take the correct steps and follow the necessary channels to getting those funds.  Are you going to continue to be employed by him or her?  In other words, do you just want your money or do you want to continue the relationship?  It may be a good idea to start an action for the fees owed and to ask the court to be able to deposit the checks you are holding in to an account with the court so that there are funds available if the dispute goes your way.  Speak with an attorney in your area on this before you act.  Good luck.


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