Can my employer withhold my paycheck until a dispute with unemployment is settled?

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Can my employer withhold my paycheck until a dispute with unemployment is settled?

I was a 1099 freelancer for a company. They decided to let me go, after which I filed for unemployment. Now they are stating they are holding my check until they hear about their dispute decision from the state. Can they do this?

Asked on October 17, 2010 under Employment Labor Law, Illinois

Answers:

M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

No, I do not believe that they can.  Additionally, many states have laws that require that final paychecks be given employees within a certain period of time.  They are probably just annoyed that you filed for unemployment because now you are asking to be considered an employee for unemployment purposes. But they, I am sure, did not pay unemployment insurance on you so they could be in hot water if you are found to be an employee. I would contact the Department of Labor and ask about last pay checks.  They will be able to tell you quickly and definitely what you need to know. They may even take up your cause for you. Good luck. 


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