How can I avoid legal action against me for not paying ex employees in a timely manner.

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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How can I avoid legal action against me for not paying ex employees in a timely manner.

I had 2 guys do some work for a house I am
working as a self proprietor, they worked for a
total of 9 days and I had to tell them I no
longer needed them per owner’s request. Money
and tools were missing from the owners house.
They were the only ones in that specific
location in the house working when money had
come up missing. Now they are demanding money
from me and threating me to go to workforce to
file a complaint against me. What do I do? What
legal advice can you give me to help me on how
to resolve this issue. What legalities do I
have to back me up.

Asked on June 14, 2019 under Employment Labor Law, Texas


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

You can pay them now: if you pay them the money you owe them for the work they did, you render their complaints moot, since they will have already received what they would otherwise be seeking. 
If you believe that they stole from you, you can sue them for the value of what they took (or if they stole from the home's owner, he or she can sue them). But your belief that they may have taken things is not a legal basis to withhold their pay--any claim for theft is wholly separate from the obligation to pay them.

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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