Direct Deposit Reversal

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022

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Direct Deposit Reversal

My previous employer sent me an item to be used for work and since my employment has ended, they’ve asked for it back claiming it belongs to the client. I have no problem returning the item but instead of giving me instructions on how to return it or putting forth any effort to obtain the item, they immediately began threatening to reverse my last direct deposit 3 days ago. If they did that, I will have received no compensation for the time I worked during that pay period. I am currently trying to contact someone at the company who has some common sense, but until then, can they really reverse my direct deposit?

Asked on July 14, 2017 under Employment Labor Law, Texas


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

No, they legally may NOT do this: an employer cannot withold, debit, or reclaim any part of an employee's pay without 1) employee consent, or 2) a court (or IRS) order to do so, like court-ordered wage garnishment for child support. This is the case even if the employee owes them something. If you were to refuse or fail to return the item, they could sue you for it--that is their legal option. And if they illegal take back money, you could sue them, for the wrongly reclaimed money and other direct costs (e.g. if due to this, you incur late charges or NSF fees on any bills or checks) it causes you. (Suing in small claims court, as your own attorney or "pro se," is likely a good option if this occurs.)

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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