If I was recently fired, is it legal for my ex-boss to withhold my final check for any reason?

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If I was recently fired, is it legal for my ex-boss to withhold my final check for any reason?

Asked on November 30, 2011 under Employment Labor Law, Wisconsin

Answers:

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

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

As per WI law, when an employee is fired, the employer must give a final paycheck to them within 72 hours. There are no circumstances under which an employer can totally withhold a final paycheck; they are typically required to issue a check containing compensation for all earned, unpaid wages, as well as for any fringe benefits that are calculable at the time of separation.
 
If an employee is unable to obtain their final paycheck, they can file a complaint Form with the WI Department of Workforce Development within 2 years of the date on which the wages were earned.
 
Note: An employer can only make deductions from an employee’s final paycheck that the employee has authorized specifically in writing or that are required under federal or state law, such as taxes or garnishments. Deductions by an employer for loss, theft, and/or faulty workmanship on the part of the employee may only be made after specific legal procedures.

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