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Withholding last paycheck? Texas

On Lawyer & Legal » Employment & Labor Law

3,053 words with 2 Comments; publish: Sat, 19 Sep 2009 10:20:00 GMT; (80062.50, « »)

My husband was terminated September 12th and was told to wait until the upcoming pay period (September 18th) to recieve his final check. We did not recieve the final check yesterday. His former employer told him he would not recieve a final check due to receipts that were missing--my husband used an agency credit card to purchase maintenance items for repairs.

My husband was told by agency staff that he cannot go on agency property to retrieve the receipts. Additionally, he will not recieve monies earned for 82 hours of labor he performed before he was terminated.

This agency has held funds from my husband's paychecks in the past due to reciepts that could not be located.

I am the Director of a non-profit agency in Texas and our CFO has made it very clear that our agency provides the terminated staff member their final paycheck and we cannot withhold funds from the maintenance team member's earnings if they do not provide a reciept, i.e. gasoline, maintenance repair items, etc.

Question: May my husband pursue this final paycheck, or is the agency he worked for permitted to retain this check justified by their allegations of lost reciepts?

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    • Short answer - have the employee file a wage claim with TX-TWC. It either works or it does not. The legal burden of proof is on the employer to support their decision to not pay wages due.

      Now will the employee certainly win? No, there are no sure things. The employee tells their story, the employer tells their story, which generally is very different then the story that the employee tells, and TX-TWC gets to decide whose story they like better. I can say that if the employer wants to fight this, they will probably claim that the purchases were not work related and that the employee used the card without permission to buy things for the employee's own use. I am not saying that this is true, just that it would be a fairly obvious response for certain employers to make based on what was said so far. Under federal law only (FLSA), a claim that the deductions were based on "for the benefit of the employee" actions, which would include personal use of company credit card would justify the non-payment of wages, assuming of course that total expenditures equaled or exceeded the wages due. I have no idea what rules if any TX has in this area. It is not uncommon for states to have recovery rules that are more favorable to the employee then the very weak federal rules.


      #1; Sat, 19 Sep 2009 12:19:00 GMT
    • All I know is this from the Texas Labor Code.

      Sec. 61.018. DEDUCTION FROM WAGES. An employer may not withhold or divert any part of an employee's wages unless the employer:

      (1) is ordered to do so by a court of competent jurisdiction;

      (2) is authorized to do so by state or federal law; or

      (3) has written authorization from the employee to deduct part of the wages for a lawful purpose.

      Acts 1993, 73rd Leg., ch. 269, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1993.

      #2; Mon, 21 Sep 2009 04:58:00 GMT