How soon does an employer need to bill me for mistakes made on a job site?

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022

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How soon does an employer need to bill me for mistakes made on a job site?

My employment was terminated about 6 weeks ago and I haven’t been paid my final payment. A week ago I met with my former employer and he explained that I owed him $2,100 for a mistake made on a job site back almost 7 months ago. This was the first he notified me that I would be held financially responsible for the mistake. Is this legal or is there a timeframe in which an invoice must be issued? According to state law I needed to be payed in full 4 weeks ago. I haven’t filed a payment of wages form with the Department of Labor yet, is there any other recourse I have in

this matter?

Asked on March 18, 2016 under Employment Labor Law, Virginia


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

Your recourse is to file a wage claim. Your employer's recourse, if you do not voluntarily agree to pay for your alleged mistake, is to sue you for the money--they can get it if they can prove in court that you intentionally or negligently (unreasonably carelessly) cost them money. What they can't do it is withhold your pay for this, or offset what you cost them vs. your pay. Employer's cannot without hold employee without employee consent (agreement), except for a limited number of reasons required by law (e.g. tax withholding; court ordered wage garnishment). The obligation to pay you your wage is wholl separate from and not affected by any claims they believe they have against you.

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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