If my boss claims that I stole pooled tip money but says I can’t come watch the video because I’m “under investigation”, can he refuse to let me see it?

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If my boss claims that I stole pooled tip money but says I can’t come watch the video because I’m “under investigation”, can he refuse to let me see it?

He says he has on video me putting money in my shirt but he doesn’t supply me with an apron so I put things there when my hands are full. I explained to him that if he looks at the camera facing the tip tray he’d see my putting there but he just wants to get rid of me and mar my reputation. He also has never given me statements with my checks, never had a consistent pay day, and refused to pay me my final check the day he terminated me.

Asked on April 19, 2012 under Employment Labor Law, California

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

1) The "due process" rights we all familiar with from movies and television do not apply to employment, unless you have an employment contract which gives you certain job protections or requires a certain procedure for discipline or  termination. In the absence of a contract, you are an employee at will: your employer may fire you at any time, for any reason, and is not obligated to prove the truth or accuracy of his reasons or to share evidence with you.

2) You must however be paid for all work you have done, even if you are terminated--even if you are terminated for cause. There are no grounds for your employer to withhold your final paycheck. If he will not pay, you may sue him (including possibly suing in small claims court, where you could act as your own attorney) to recover it. If you sue him, you could potentially also sue him for any other unpaid amounts, or for any costs (e.g. interest, late fees) you have incurred in the past because he paid you late.


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