Is it legal to withhold a final paycheck because of vacation time used?

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Is it legal to withhold a final paycheck because of vacation time used?

After 90 days of employment with my previous company they gave me 40 hours of vacation and 10 hours of sick leave. I worked there for a total of 9 months. Upon termination, I was told that I would not receive a final paycheck because I owed that vacation time and sick leave back. Is this legal or can I do something about it?

Asked on August 3, 2017 under Employment Labor Law, North Carolina

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

It would only be legal if you were made aware *before* using the sick and vacation leave that IF you used it, you could be charged back for it against your final paycheck under certain circumstances, and those circumstances occured or applied. Otherwise, no: they cannot charge you back for the days without prior notice this could happen, and they cannot take the time out of your paycheck without your consent or agreement (including consent in advance, such as by you taking or using days with knowledge you could be charged back for them). If they took the money out improperly, try contacting your state department of labor and filing a complaint; if that doesn't work, you could sue (e.g. in small claims court, as your own attorney or "pro se") for the money.


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