What can I do if my employer has not sent me my last paycheck?

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What can I do if my employer has not sent me my last paycheck?

He is withholding my check because he says I was short. He never contacted me. It’s been over 6 weeks since I was fired but for something totally different. I don’t believe them and I know they have no proof of those allegations. Can he hold my check because he thinks I shorted my bank $200? I was fired on my day off. They called me at home so I never even went back to go in my bank. The camera definitely shows me returning my bank back in my lockbox at the end of my last shift.

Asked on June 22, 2015 under Employment Labor Law, Tennessee

Answers:

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

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

Withholding a paycheck based on a shortage is not permitted. If an employer has the right to be compensated for a shortfall (not clear in this case), it must pay the employee their paycheck and then have the employee pay the amount in question back over to them. In a case where an employee refuses to pay, the employer can seek its remedy at law (i.e. sue for the money).

Additionally, final paychecks typically have to be paid within a certain period of time after an employyee leaves their job (either voluntarily or by being fired).

If believe that your paycheck is being illegally withheld, you need to file a complaint with your state's department of labor.

Note: As a general rule, employers can only deduct for shortages if exisiting company ppermits it, or the terms of a union agreement or employment contract. Otherwise, deductions are not allowed to be made from an employee's paycheck (at least not without their permission).


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