How can I protect my wages when a former client tries to reclaim them?

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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How can I protect my wages when a former client tries to reclaim them?

I am a contractor who was working for a company based in NY for several weeks. I am no longer working with this company, have given appropriate notice and received what should have been my final payment from the company. This morning, I discovered that there was an attempt made by the company to rescind my paycheck by cancelling the direct deposit they’d issued the day before. I know that in most states, companies can withdraw a payment within 5 business days but I was given to notice nor any explanation for why they would do such a thing. I’ve spoken with my bank, which has assured me that they will do everything they can to prevent this company from withdrawing the money but I’m nervous that they will try again. I cannot get in touch with this company and I’m not sure what my rights are in this instance to protect myself.

Asked on July 11, 2019 under Employment Labor Law, Pennsylvania


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

If you are entitled to the money--e.g. you did the work for which it is pay--and they succeed in rescinding the paycheck, you could sue them (the client) for "breach of contract" (violating the agreement, whether written or oral, under which you agreed to perform work in exchange for pay) for the money they owe you.

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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