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My former employer refuses to pay my final paycheck. However, I found a check
that he had written me last month that was later replaced by a direct deposit. Can I
deposit it? Will I get in trouble ?
Asked on May 14, 2019 under Employment Labor Law, Texas
SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney
Answered 3 years ago | Contributor
1) To collect your final check, you can either contact the state department of labor and file a complant or else sue in small claims court.
2) You cannot cash a check which was replaced by direct deposit without your employer's consent, because regardless of whether he owes you your final check now, that check was not for your final payroll--it was for something for which you were already paid. Depositing it would therefore represent being double paid for the same thing or same hours worked; worse, since you would be doing it knowingly, it would be a crime (a form of theft) to be taking money you know you are not entitled to because you were already paid.
3) You can, of course, ask the former employer if you can cash that check to settle the amount they owe you for the final payroll. If they agree, get the agreement in writing then cash or deposit it.