What to do about a check that was accidentally destroyed?

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What to do about a check that was accidentally destroyed?

About 6 months ago, I performed contract work for an employer (I was a musician and played for a show at a school). The school originally gave me a check for a lower amount than what I had been promised. Knowing that this check was incorrect, I set it aside, and it ended up becoming accidentally destroyed. The school offered to send me a check for the difference between the amount promised and the amount on the first check but when I told them that that check had been damaged they said it would be difficult to write a new check and have since failed to respond to any communication. I have not received any check, either for the difference or for the full amount. Do they have a legal responsibility to issue a new check for the full amount?

Asked on December 10, 2012 under Employment Labor Law, New Jersey

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

No, unfortunately, they do not have a legal responsibility to write a new check. They fulfilled their responsibility by paying you that money; what happens after you have received it is not their responsibility. This situation is legally no different than if you had cashed the check, but then promptly accidently lost or burned/threw out/otherwise destroyed the money--the loss is, unfortunately, yours.


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