Can an employer withhold your last paycheck for any reason?

Asked about 2 years ago - Gulfport, MS

Last day of work for previous employer was May 11 and should have received paycheck on May 18th. Check went in direct deposit and reversed same day by employer. Employer now states that they are holding check saying equipment was "vandalized." Work for an underground utility construction company and the supposed equipment which was choker cables and pump hoses was in fact broke (not intentionally) by another member on construction crew probably 2-3 wks prior to my quitting. Is this legal? What are my options at this point? Not sure if this is relevent or not but my brother also worked for this same company and quit about a month before I did. They did pay him his last check but a wk or 2 later put a warrant out for his arrest stating he was embezzling. Has not have court date set yet

Attorney answers (1)

  1. Robert Nicholas Norris


    Contributor Level 11

    Answered . If you had destroyed some of their property then the employer could withhold from your check the amount it would cost to fix the damaged property. However, since you did not damage the property they cannot withhold your check. You need to file a claim with the justice or municipal court where the employer is located. The filing fee is usually $95, and the employer can be liable for that amount if you are successful. This is not an issue you need to hire a lawyer for though because of the small amount of the claim.

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