What to do if I was informed by the Sheriff’s office that my old employer filed charges against me for unauthorized vacation pay?

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What to do if I was informed by the Sheriff’s office that my old employer filed charges against me for unauthorized vacation pay?

It was taken in lieu of time off. They were authorized but I did not obtain copies of the forms; I never needed to since I was there for a very long time before resigning. Since they are claiming 3 weeks worth over time, the amount is $2,076 making it a felony. This happened after I filed a wage claim with the state Workforce Commission. They are demanding repayment or threatening to go ahead with felony charges. Is it worth it to fight it if I have absolutely no proof the pay was authorized? We can not afford a retainer fee for a lawyer. It should be noted I did all payroll for the company, including entering vacation time.

Asked on April 18, 2013 under Criminal Law, Texas

Answers:

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

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

You really need to seek legal counsel for this matter, especially since a potential felony is involved. If you can't afford an attorney you may qualify for a Public Defender or an attorney provided from Legal Aid; however strict income limits apply. If you are not eligible for such representation, then you should contact your county/city/state bar association; typically they have lists of attorneys who might take your case "pro bono" (i.e. for free) or for low cost depending on your income/circumstances. Finally, check to see if there is a law school nearby to where this all happened; many times they run legal clinics for little or no cost.


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