Can an ex-employer hold my last payheck?

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Latest post 06-28-2009 4:51 PM by hazzard. 6 replies.
  • 05-21-2009 10:57 AM

    • terrapin
      Consumer
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    • Joined on 05-21-2009
    • IL
    • Posts 3

    Can an ex-employer hold my last payheck?

    I was recently terminated and my employer refuses to release my last check of actual hours worked until I return the laptop and give him contact information for a few vendors I was working with in regard to company business.  I of course am going to return all property but was wondering if it is illegal for them to old my check until I do so.  They have sent several emails stating that I will not be paid until they receive and accept the items.

  • 05-21-2009 11:06 AM In reply to

    Re: Can an ex-employer hold my last payheck?

    Yeah, it's probably illegal.

    But by the time you report it and get the state to do anything about it, you'd be better off just giving your employer what he wants and get your check.

    It's also illegal to keep property that doesn't belong to you. It's called "theft". While you are complaining to the state about the paycheck your employer could complain to the police about the laptop. Who do you think will get the worst of it?

    terrapin:
    I of course am going to return all property

    When?

    How about today?

    "Going to return it" is not returning it.

     

    • The right of the people 
    • to keep and bear arms,
    • shall not be infringed.
  • 05-21-2009 11:10 AM In reply to

    • terrapin
      Consumer
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    • Joined on 05-21-2009
    • IL
    • Posts 3

    Re: Can an ex-employer hold my last payheck?

    Here's the deal.  Upon my termination, my ex-boss provided m a list of things I needed to return.  On that list were about 4 items I never had nor purchased for company use.  He is a relatively incompetent guy and I could see my sending everything I have back and him saying "Oh, I forgot, There are 2 more items you have and I am not paying you until you send those back too."  Items I don't or ever have had.  That's my issue.  I don't want to keep the crappy laptop and find all of this petty.  But I just do not trust that I would ever get paid based on my interaction with him.

  • 05-21-2009 11:28 AM In reply to

    Re: Can an ex-employer hold my last payheck?

    You won't know what will happen until it happens.

    You won't be able to do anything about what happens until it happens.

    Meantime, you are both bad. His bad is a possible civil matter. Your bad is a possible criminal matter.

    I suggest you go back with the laptop and whatever list of vendors or whatever. Then, if you still don't get the check, you'll be the good guy being wronged and you'll be in a better position to do something about it.

    Your choice.

     

    • The right of the people 
    • to keep and bear arms,
    • shall not be infringed.
  • 05-21-2009 11:32 AM In reply to

    • terrapin
      Consumer
    • Not Ranked
    • Joined on 05-21-2009
    • IL
    • Posts 3

    Re: Can an ex-employer hold my last payheck?

    That's great advice - Thanks.  I was thinking of preparing a short list of all tems that will finalize this seperation and having him sign it - what do you think about that?

  • 05-21-2009 11:56 AM In reply to

    • Drew
      Consumer
    • Top 10 Contributor
    • Joined on 03-30-2000
    • PA
    • Posts 49,585

    Re: Can an ex-employer hold my last payheck?

    It is probably illegal for employer to withhold paycheck but it may not be a practical contest with you holding a dirty hand.

    You need to return company computer  (clean off all personal information!)

    I think you would be wise to get a written receipt from boss that you have returned ALL property owned or claimed by company.

    I'd return him boxes of loose company paperwork if you have any....clean it out. Make it go away safely!

    I think you are required to return files you created on company time--they own work product...but I don't see where you are required to spend  20 hours recreating information  and/or bringing your boss up to date as to work in progress. Got the difference.  Now if it takes you 1 hr to assemble what he wants and 1/2 hr to explain it--be nice--smile and just go do it!!

    And I'd be rather swift to get the stuff out of my possession and returned!

    W / receipt

     

    Then and only then do you smile and ask do you have my final check--I'll be glad to sit while you go get it if necessary............



  • 06-28-2009 4:51 PM In reply to

    • hazzard
      Lawyer
    • Not Ranked
    • Joined on 05-14-2004
    • IL
    • Posts 9

    Re: Can an ex-employer hold my last payheck?

    I is absolutely illegal, both civilly and criminally in the State of Illinois for your emp... to withold an employees paycheck.  If an employee embezzled 1,000,000,000.  Employer is still at fault. 

    He has no right to withold your check, and you will be entitled to attorney's fees, interest on the judgment, and all costs if you are required sue your employer in a court of law.  Even if you still have the lap-top.

    It is wrong for you to keep his lap top of course, but you have not stolen it, and there is no reaon for him not give you your check.  What happens to you if you don't get your final pay check?  Compare that with his business not having the laptop, which he knows he will have if he simply pays you your check.

    Your employer is absolutely in the wrong, but I can't condone you illegally witholding their property (though it is not a crime), however, I understand your situation.  Good luck.

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