Can I sue my former employer for withholding my final paycheck?

UPDATED: Aug 13, 2012

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Can I sue my former employer for withholding my final paycheck?

I was fired 11 days ago. I worked through the pay period of the 16th-31st of last month. Payday should have been this month on the 6th but my ex-employer has yet to pay me. She did not respond to any calls, texts or emails after her email in which she fired me up until today. When she finally responded to my attempts, she said she is “looking into” the cell phone bill regarding the store phone I used, and paid for monthly while employed. There are, in fact, absolutely zero issues with the phone bill. What can I do?

Asked on August 13, 2012 under Employment Labor Law, Ohio


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

Yes, you could sue your employer if you are not paid your final paycheck. Employers may not withhold pay except 1) as required by law (such as FICA) or 2) with the employee's consent or agreement. Even if the employee does owe the employer money, they may not withhold pay--the employer's option is to sue the employee for the money it believes is owed it. If the employer will not pay you, you could sue it, such as in small claims court, where you could act as your own attorney (saving on legal fees).

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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