My boss is withholding my checks, claiming I owe for lost equipment. Is he within legal boundaries by turning off my tech , and withholding my wages?

UPDATED: Oct 2, 2022

Advertiser Disclosure

It’s all about you. We want to help you make the right legal decisions.

We strive to help you make confident insurance and legal decisions. Finding trusted and reliable insurance quotes and legal advice should be easy. This doesn’t influence our content. Our opinions are our own.

UPDATED: Oct 2, 2022Fact Checked

Get Legal Help Today

Compare Quotes From Top Companies and Save

secured lock Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

My boss is withholding my checks, claiming I owe for lost equipment. Is he within legal boundaries by turning off my tech , and withholding my wages?

I was a contractor for a local cable company. They have altered the pay multiple times this year, and with the most recent change want contractors to run cable lines without being compensated, causing us to lose a significant amount of money for doing by far the most labor intensive aspect of the install. I was told to rewire an entire house for only $75 or I would have my tech turned off. I should have made close to $250 off of that job when being compensated for lines. I refused and my was turned off. Now the company is holding me responsible for equipment that has been returned but they cannot locate, and my boss is withholding my checks pay is 3 weeks behind. The work has been completed in a timely and professional manner and my boss has received payment from the cable company.

Asked on August 23, 2019 under Employment Labor Law, Texas


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

Can they withhold your check for work you did? No--the labor law is very clear that even if an employee does owe an employee money, such as for allegedly lost equipment, the employee must still be paid. If they will not pay you, you could file a complaint with the state department of labor or sue (such as in small claims court, as your own attorney or "pro se") for the money.
However, if they believe you did lose or fail to return equipment, they do have the the right to sue you for its value. To win their case and force you to pay, they'd need to prove in court, by a "preponderance of the evidence" (that it is "more likely than not") that you did take, lose, fail to return, etc. the equipment.

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.

Get Legal Help Today

Find the right lawyer for your legal issue.

secured lock Secured with SHA-256 Encryption