What are my rights if I’m not receiving a paycheck because they said I had to repay vacation back?

Get Legal Help Today

 Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

What are my rights if I’m not receiving a paycheck because they said I had to repay vacation back?

I am a salaried employee in. I recently had surgery and only working half

days. My employer was paying me my full check for a couple of weeks. Then they told me that I was 8 1/2 days in the hole for vacation and asked how I was going to repay. Then I did not receive a check at all. They said that the hours I worked that pay period would go towards vacation deficit. Can an employer legally do this?

Asked on March 1, 2017 under Employment Labor Law, Virginia

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

No, an employer may not withhold employee pay, even if the employee owes them money--which based on what you write, you do--without either employee consent or pursuant to a legal order, like court-ordered wage garnishment. You could sue them for the withheld wages. 
Of course, if you do that, they could countersue you for the money you owe them from being paid out for more vacation than you had, since if an employer did accidentally pay you for unearned/unaccrued vacation, they are entitled to reimbursed--the law is clear that  a mistake does not entitle you to keep the money. So you might not actually net out ahead.
They could also legally take employment action against you, unless prevented from doing so by the terms of a written employment contract, such as suspending you, demoting you, reducing your salary to make up for the "overpayment," even terminating you. That's because without a written employment contract, you are an "employee at will" and the employer may take any employment action it chooses, for any reason.


IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although AttorneyPages.com has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

Get Legal Help Today

Find the right lawyer for your legal issue.

 Secured with SHA-256 Encryption