May I withhold paychecks until time sheets are turned in?

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May I withhold paychecks until time sheets are turned in?

I have a few employees that refuse to turn in their time sheets on time. They are salaried but we report to the city and they require time sheets. I have begged, threatened and pleaded with no response. I was told that we could withhold a paycheck if the current time sheets are not turned in on time. The check would be cut, just withheld until the time sheets are in. Is this true?

Asked on August 31, 2010 under Employment Labor Law, Texas

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

If there were paid on an hourly basis, you could of course withhold checks until time sheets were turned in--indeed, without time sheets, you probably couldn't even calculate or cut the checks.

For salaried employees, it's not so clear that you could do this, however, since salaried employees are supposed to be paid regardless, on set or previously determined days. Not paying them on those days could be a violation of the law governing payroll/paydays. It is, as harsh as it sounds, probably the better course legally to instead let employees know that inasumch as turning in the time sheets is part of their job, that they will be demoted or even fired if they regularly do not provide them on time--after  all, they would be violating a condition or term of employment.


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