Can an employer sue me for unfinished work.

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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
Georgia.

What action can my previous employer
take?

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

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 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.


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