if a husban and wife works for the same company and the husban got overpaid can the company penalize the wife wages

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022

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if a husban and wife works for the same company and the husban got overpaid can the company penalize the wife wages

me and my wife worked for the same company and I left over a year ago.upon doing so they over paid me on my last check. I held on to the money for about a month and tried to make attemps to give it back but the company cancled the meeting that was set up for me to give it back and never set up anything else after that. now a year and a half my wife leaves the company and they refuse to pay her last check and saying that part of it was they over paid me. she was on salary and from what we seen on sc labor laws upon termination or quiting a job the company has to pay them for there wages and there vaction pay

Asked on April 6, 2017 under Employment Labor Law, South Carolina


M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

Absent your wife giving her written permission for such a deduction, your ex-employer taking money from her pacheck is illegal. Her wages have nothing to do with any that money that you owe to your former company (although they can pursue for it). While there is no specific time in which an employee who quits must be paid their wages, any unreasonable delay would be actionable. Additionally, under SC law, wages expressly includes vacation pay that is due to a worker by company policy or employment/union contract.  Accordingly, if vacation time is consistently provided, an employee who leaves must be paid for their accrued, unused time. Such pay is due within 48 hours of the time of separation or the next regular payday, which may not exceed 30 days. Failure to pay will allow the worker to file a complaint with the SC Department of Labor, as well as bring a civil action, asking for triple damages, costs, and attorney's fees.

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