What can I do if I was terminated from my job 3 weeks ago and my former employer did not pay me my 2 weeks earned or my 3 weeks accrued vacation?

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What can I do if I was terminated from my job 3 weeks ago and my former employer did not pay me my 2 weeks earned or my 3 weeks accrued vacation?

I have not been able to get any information on how to cash out my 401k. He told me he would sue me if I tried to get my wages. I don’t have fees to fight him since he is very wealthy and stated he would put $500,000 into an account for his attornies. Is there anything I can do?

Asked on January 28, 2016 under Employment Labor Law, Oregon

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

1) He does NOT have to pay you your accrued vacation, unless there was a written employment contract guarantying you this money. In the absence of a contract, accrued but unused vacation or other PTO is not paid when employment ends.
2) He must pay you for all work you did--i.e. for your last two weeks--and if not, you could sue him. Suing in small claims, acting as your own attorney ("pro se") to avoid legal fees is a good option--you'd only have to pay the filing fee, which is around $60 or $70.
3) d on what you write, he has no basis to sue you: there is no legal cause of action against you for bringing a lawsuit for unpaid wages, for example, and if he tried to sue for that, you could countersue for frivolous litigation (also known as "malicious use of process" in a context like this).
Obviously, if there's something you're not including in the question that would give him reason to sue you (e.g. you stole from him), that's a different story.


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