Is my employer allowed to keep my paycheck to pay off my tab after I was terminated?

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Is my employer allowed to keep my paycheck to pay off my tab after I was terminated?

I was terminated due to a customer complaint at my work. I work in a gas station and we have a “tab” or “owe list.” When i went to pick up my check, there was alot more on my tab then i originally had there. Can they keep my paycheck until that gets paid off? There is nothing in writing stating it had to be paid with our last check and its not in my handwriting?

Asked on May 3, 2012 under Employment Labor Law, New York

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

This is illegal: employers may not deduct from, withhold, or keep an employee's paycheck (final or otherwise) except:

1) For deductions mandated by law, such as FICA or a court-ordered wage garnishment; or

2) With employee consent or agreement.

Those are the only times an employer can keep part or all of your paycheck; if the employer believes you owe it money and you do not pay voluntarily, the correct recourse for your employer would be to sue you for  the money.


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