If my past employer has been with holding my paycheck, what should I do to collect the money that belongs to me?

UPDATED: Apr 9, 2012

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If my past employer has been with holding my paycheck, what should I do to collect the money that belongs to me?

My past employer and I communicate through text messages mainly, so I have written proof from him. Every morning I ask when we can meet up so I can receive my paycheck. He responds telling me he’ll call to let me know, or he says just give him a little time to get caught up on his work. By the end of the day, I haven’t heard from him again. He stops responding to my messages and turns his phone off when I call. I messaged him no more than 3 times a day, so that shouldn’t be harassment. I’ve called him 4 times in 2 days. I’m just trying to collect the money that he acknowledges belongs to me.

Asked on April 9, 2012 under Employment Labor Law, Tennessee


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

If you performed the work, you must be paid for it, including being paid for your final work in your last  paycheck.  If your employer will not provide it, you may sue him for the money; you probably should look to sue in small claims court, where you can act as  your own attorney (saving on legal fees) and where cases tend to move more quickly. You would  want to provide evidence, including your own testimony, that you  did  the work and what your wages or salary was.

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