If I was terminated by my employer but I am still receiving a salary every 2 weeks, what actions can be taken against me if I spend the money?

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If I was terminated by my employer but I am still receiving a salary every 2 weeks, what actions can be taken against me if I spend the money?

Asked on June 20, 2012 under Employment Labor Law, Texas

Answers:

B.H.F., Member, Texas State Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

Don't spend the money just yet.... they could potentially file a small claims suit for recoupment if you received the checks in error.  You need to contact them and clarify the purpose of the checks.  Some people do receive checks after they are terminated because they don't realized that their pay periods are actually a couple of weeks behind the days they worked to earn the check.  The checks could also represent a severance package or unpaid PTO that they payout upon termination.  It's important that you understand what these checks represent, especially if you are going to file for unemployment.  TWC will ask you questions about last paycheck and whether or not you received a severance.  Entries in their documents are considered government records, which means stout penalties for intentional errors or omissions.  So contact the person who handles payroll, usually an HR person, and find out what is going on with these checks.  Make sure that you document who and when you talked to this person, so that if an issue does come up, you'll can defend your actions.


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