If I was fired from a job because I didn’t call in sick one day, can they hold a portion of my final pay check?

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If I was fired from a job because I didn’t call in sick one day, can they hold a portion of my final pay check?

When I went in to pick up my final paycheck they didn’t pay me the amount that I was owed. They told me that they were holding the remainder of my check until the following week. Their reason was because they said I was irresponsible for not calling in sick.

Asked on November 8, 2011 under Employment Labor Law, Washington

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

Legally, no, they cannot hold part of your final paycheck to punish you or otherwise as a consequence of your having failed to call in sick.

Practically, there is nothing you can do about this. You'd need to take legal action--file a lawsuit--to force them to pay earlier. The cost of doing so would not only be prohibitive, but you'll get the check long before the legal action would actually go to court. If they never pay you, that's a different story--you can sue for unpaid wages.


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