Is it legal for an employer to direct deposit a paycheck and then take it back from my bank account with no notice?

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Is it legal for an employer to direct deposit a paycheck and then take it back from my bank account with no notice?

I worked from home as a 1099 employee. I gave 2 weeks notice and received my final paycheck the end of that same week and then he pulled the direct deposit back withdrawal with out notice citing ‘until equipment is returned laptop, mouse and external drive payment is held.’ I sent ALL items back with detailed packing slips and photos to his lawyer via FedEx with tracking info. No reply that all was not accounted for.
I have yet to receive my pay.over a year now The amount of the check is small and wasn’t going to fight it. However he is doing personal vindictive actions on the side and is becoming a bully. Do I have a good case for legal recourse?

Asked on March 14, 2017 under Employment Labor Law, Florida

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

Legally, you have a good case if you did not receive pay for work you did--but that's the only issue here: that you did not receive the compensation to which you were entitled. His motives, his attitude, his bullying, etc. is legally beside the point--the law does not enforce courtesy, professionalism, or simple human decency. So you can sue him for the money he owes you, but for no more than that--you need to decide if it is worthwhile doing so. If you decide to more forward with legal action, it would be based on "breach on contract": on violating the agreement (whether oral or written) pursuant to which you did work for pay--since you did your part (you did the work) he is contractually obligated to fufill his obligation(s) and pay you.


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