Can an employer sue me for unfinished work.

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022

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Can an employer sue me for unfinished work.

I have recently left a job. My
previous employer contacted me and
said that I was missing files that I
had been paid for. He said that if I
could not produce the work files.
That he was going to take legal action
against me for the hours I was paid. I
know that I turned most of the files
he requested in. I wasn’t allowed to
make copies of my computer files so I
don’t have proof.

I was an hourly employee not a
contractor. I’m in the state of

What action can my previous employer

Asked on July 11, 2016 under Employment Labor Law, Georgia


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

No, you may not be sued "for the hours worked" for not finishing work. First, as an hourly employee, yoiu *must* be paid for all hours worked, so the employer cannot recover this money. Second, as a consequence of employment at will, there is no obligation for work from either the employer or the employee--that is, you are not required to complete the work, and conversely, if you don't do your job, your employer's recourse is to fire you (he can fire you at any time). If the employer did not stay on top of your output and terminate you earlier, that is fault, and he cannot recover compensation for it. An employee can be sued for several things, like breaking or losing the employer's property, or stealing from the employer--but not just for not doing his/her job.

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 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.

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