Is it legal for my employer to withhold my last paycheck to cover alleged theft expenses?

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Is it legal for my employer to withhold my last paycheck to cover alleged theft expenses?

I had written myself some reimbursement checks for some out-of-pocket work related expenses. The receipts were accidentally thrown away by someone when I moved. I didn’t think much of it because we had never had a very detailed tracking system at work. When I was fired for this, even though the expenses were legitimate, my boss held my paycheck and deducted all of these out. I still haven’t received my paycheck, and I don’t know if there’s anything I can do.

Asked on July 20, 2011 Missouri

Answers:

M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

I am so sorry for your situation.  It is my understanding that in Missouri if an employee is fired - which applies to you here - then they are to receive their last paycheck on the day of discharge. This law is codified under Missouri Annotated Statute § 290.110.  If there are deductions I am sure that they must be listed.  And if you disagree then I believe that you have a right to contest the issue.  But first you need to obtain the check.  So I would sue your ex employer in small claims court for the balance that you believe that you are owed.  As for the receipts is there any way to back track them?  Did you pay by debit car or credit card?  Can the stores give you copies of sales invoices?  Anything is better than nothing.  Good luck to you.


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