Can my previous job hold my paycheck?

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Can my previous job hold my paycheck?

I left the job a couple weeks ago and was supposed to receive my final days of

working there yesterday through direct deposit. Now, the owner is holding my check for a key that I told him I had lost 2 months ago while I was still working there. I would like to take him to court. None of the managers are responding back to my messages as well as the owner. What should I do?

Asked on October 20, 2018 under Employment Labor Law, New Jersey

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

Yes, you can sue the owner: the law does not allow an employer to withhold employee pay (or take any deductions from it) without either 1) employee consent or agreement, or 2) a court order for wage garnishment, such as for child support or if you had lost a lawsuit but not paid. Without consent or court order, you must be paid, even if the employer thinks you owe them for something. (If they do believe you owe them something, such as the cost to rekey a lock, they are free to sue you for the money--that is their only legal recourse.)


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