What can I do about being wrongfully accused of stealing and being told to work off the books to pay back the moneyI didn’t take?

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What can I do about being wrongfully accused of stealing and being told to work off the books to pay back the moneyI didn’t take?

Asked on December 3, 2011 under Employment Labor Law, Colorado

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

If you did not steal and otherwise believe you do not owe money for some valid reason, then you have the option of not doing the off-the-books work (or otherwise repaying). In thet event, the person who thinks you owe them money has the option of bringing a lawsuit against you, if (s)he thinks he can prove his/her case; and if he/she does, you can then either elect to settle (by paying) or else defend the case by presenting your evidence that you did not take the money, etc.

Note that if it's your employer who thinks you stole, if you  don't have an employment contract, (s)he can fire you if (s)he likes.

Note also that "off-the-books" work is NEVER legal--if you do work for someone, taxes must be paid on it.


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