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Under TX employment law can employer withhold paycheck without cause

San Antonio, TX |

Can an employer withhold your payroll check without cause.? after calling into work to notify my supervisor I was unable to come in. the employer withholds my payroll check. is that legal?

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Attorney answers 2


Generally no (like everything else it depends on the actual facts, eg. may be withheld if child support order). Texas has a payday statute which requires employers to pay wages owed within 6 days for a terminated employee, and by the next scheduled pay period for employees who leave the company (other than by discharge). If an employee is not paid on a scheduled payday, the employer is required to pay the employee on another business day on the employee's request. Wage claims must be filed with the Texas Workforce Commission within 180 days after the wages became due for payment.


No. Of course your question says "without cause" so it is important to note that there are things that are legitimate reasons that give an employer a right to withhold a portion of a paycheck (e.g. child support withholding mandated by government, withholding for lost equipment if employee signed an authorization, etc.). Texas' Payday Act mandates that a terminated employee be paid by the earlier of a week or the next regular payday.

If you have a claim for unpaid wages you can file a wage claim with the Texas Workforce Commission. If the amount of wages owed are more than $8,000 to $10,000 or if you claim involves payment of commissions you might consider visiting with an employment lawyer before filing your wage claim as there are other avenues for collection (filing a lawsuit for breach of contract or quantum meruit) that may be more appropriate and effective under the circumstances.