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Can I be fired and not paid for the last two weeks plus vac pay? Massachusetts

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  • Can I be fired and not paid for the last two weeks plus vac pay? Massachusetts

    I was recently fired because my boss claimed that my drop of $658.00 was missing from the safe. It was a total lie which is probably why he didn't accuse me of taking it. He just said it was missing. I've worked for him for 5 years and have never had any problems until recently. He's been accusing me of everyone's mistakes (even his). I've been able to prove they weren't my mistakes. Anyway, he's obviously been wanting to get rid of me and decided to say my drop was missing. He told me he was keeping my last two pay checks and 1 weeks vac pay. On the advise of the woman at the Unemployment office, I'm going to file a claim with the labor dept. My question is can he legally make me pay him the $658.00? It seems from the other posts that I have read that he at least has to pay me MW for the hours I worked, but what about the balance of the missing money, am I responsible for that?

    One other question - He fired me on a Wed, that's the day the checks come in. A few days later I called him and told him I need the check stubs for the last two weeks that I worked. He has been unable to produce the one for the week before I was fired and has only sent me the one for the week I was fired. I can't prove it but I'm positive he took my check that came on the day he fired me and signed my name on the back and cashed it out of the petty cash drawer and that's why he cant produce it. He said he asked ADT several times for it but says he's just the "middle man" and if they don't give it to him, there's nothing he can do about it. I've been waiting over a month for it. Is there any way I can find out if he cashed my check?

    Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thank you in advance.

  • #2
    Several questions, some related, some not.

    You must be paid for all time worked. Your paycheck cannot be held as "restitution" (assuming that is the employer's intent). In your state, you also must be paid any accrued, untaken vacation still on the books.

    Fired employees in MA must be paid immediately.

    Did you ever get the pay stubs you're asking for now? Or did you get them when you got paid and now are just asking for a copy?
    I don't respond to Private Messages unless the moderator specifically refers you to me for that purpose. Thank you.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by Pattymd View Post
      Several questions, some related, some not.

      You must be paid for all time worked. Your paycheck cannot be held as "restitution" (assuming that is the employer's intent). In your state, you also must be paid any accrued, untaken vacation still on the books.

      Fired employees in MA must be paid immediately.

      Did you ever get the pay stubs you're asking for now? Or did you get them when you got paid and now are just asking for a copy?

      Sorry for the confusion, I'll try to clear it up.

      I was fired on 9/8/10 (the day the checks came in for the week before) on 9/12/10 I left him a voice mail telling him "I needed the pay stubs dated 9/9/10 and 9/16/10 even though he he's not paying me for those weeks". I received a check in the mail on 9/24/10 dated 9/16/10. The check was made out for zero dollars and zero cents and in the amount section it said "This is not a check *void*". That pay period was for 9/5/10 to 9/11/10. He has yet to send me the one dated 9/9/10 for the pay period 8/29/10 to 9/4/10. When I asked him for it again on 9/24/10 (third time) he said he has asked ADP for it but they haven't sent it to him and there isn't any thing he can do about it. It's now 10/15/10 and I still have not received it.

      I hope I didn't make that more confusing. Thank you for responding.

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      • #4
        OK, so let me sure I have the facts correct.

        There was a paycheck dated 9/9 which included the week ending 9/4 and you never received pay stub.

        There was a paycheck dated 9/16 which included the pay for the pay period ended 9/11, which included wages paid and taxes withheld, but the net pay was zero because he deducted the cash shortage from that week's pay?

        Is that correct?

        I don't know what ADP application the company is using and I don't know whether actual copies of the printed pay stubs are even available to him online. Can't he give you a letter or something with the same information on it? That he definitely has access to, either online or on a paper report.
        Last edited by Pattymd; 10-15-2010, 12:03 PM.
        I don't respond to Private Messages unless the moderator specifically refers you to me for that purpose. Thank you.

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        • #5
          I apologize.

          I am nonexempt.

          The pay period that included 9/8 ended on 9/11. That week I worked 9/5, 9/6, 9/7.

          The check was dated 9/16, 5 days after the end of the pay period.

          Yes, I was paid weekly.

          I also worked 8/29, 8/30, 9/1, 9/2, and have not received a pay stub for that pay period.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Pattymd View Post
            Several questions, some related, some not.

            You must be paid for all time worked. Your paycheck cannot be held as "restitution" (assuming that is the employer's intent). In your state, you also must be paid any accrued, untaken vacation still on the books.

            Fired employees in MA must be paid immediately.

            Did you ever get the pay stubs you're asking for now? Or did you get them when you got paid and now are just asking for a copy?
            On a technical point, a fired employee must be paid within 24 hours, not immediately. A small difference but one that allows my site to term someone and me to Fedex the check out.

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            • #7
              Thanks, my resource, which admittedly is a few years old, says immediately.

              I guess you can contact the state Attorney General's office and file a complaint regarding the missing pay stub/information.
              I don't respond to Private Messages unless the moderator specifically refers you to me for that purpose. Thank you.

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              • #8
                Re final paycheck: Ma. Mass Gen L.c. 149, statute 148

                any employee leaving his employment shall be paid in full on the following regular pay day, and, in the absence of a regular pay day, on the following Saturday; and any employee discharged from such employment shall be paid in full on the day of his discharge, or in Boston ---- see link for complete info

                http://www.malegislature.gov/Laws/Ge...149/Section148
                Last edited by Betty3; 10-15-2010, 04:58 PM. Reason: forgot link
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                • #9
                  Thank you to everyone who has responded, I sincerely appreciate it!

                  I called the AG office and they are sending me the forms I need to file a claim. Unfortunately the person I spoke to was unable to answer my questions so please bear with me.

                  1. Can the Manager take legal action against me for the "missing" money?

                  2. Is it his responsibility to prove I took it or is my responsibility to prove I didn't take it?

                  This isn't the first time that he has taken money and demanded that the employee on shift pay it back. Usually he takes it out of the cash drawer but he recently installed cameras all over the building and the drawer is in view of one of them so he cant take money from the drawer anymore. Conveniently for him, he didn't put a camera in view of the safe so now this is his only option. This guy is a dirt bag, he is unethical and unprofessional. He has lost over $100.000.00 of the business's money at the casino which he has admitted to me and two other employees. He has two children with one of the employees while he is married and his wife had two children at the same time. I could go on and on but I wont. The point is, he needs money badly and has no problem taking it from his employees. The business is owned by his family and he is in charge of it so he can say and do anything he wants, including lying and fixing the books.

                  I really have no doubt in my mind that he cashed one of my checks and kept the money. That's why I want something from the payroll company for that one week that is missing. I don't want him just to write something down and expect me to just take his word for it.

                  3. Can I insist on a pay stub from the payroll company so I can see for sure if the check was made out for zero or for the four days that I worked?

                  Thank you again for your help.
                  Last edited by Bostonian; 10-16-2010, 03:10 PM. Reason: added numbers

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                  • #10
                    The company could, theoretically file a police report, accusing you of the theft. They could also file a civil claim for "restitution". In either of these cases, though, they're going to have much more proof than what you described. They cannot deduct it from your pay.

                    It is the responsibility of the employer to provide the pay stub, even if the net pay was zero, not the payroll processing company; the processor is merely providing the service of calculating the paycheck and producing such checks. The employer has this information on reports from the processor, even if he can't reproduce a duplicate pay statement. This failure to provide the required statement can be included in your complaint.

                    Pay slip, check stub or envelope showing employer’s and employee’s name, pay date, hours worked, hourly rate, nature and amount of deductions
                    Mass. Ann. Laws ch.
                    149 §§27C, 148
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                    • #11
                      " In either of these cases, though, they're going to have much more proof than what you described."

                      So then the burden of proof is mine?

                      What kind of proof do they have?

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                      • #12
                        That's not what I said. In order to prevail in a criminal or civil case, yes, there will have to be proof that you are guilty; not the other way around.
                        I don't respond to Private Messages unless the moderator specifically refers you to me for that purpose. Thank you.

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                        • #13
                          Oh, I see. Guess I don't have much to worry about then. It's probably going to take a very long time to get through it all. Especially since both Unemployment and the AG office said they will both take at least 8 weeks to get to my paper work. He'll probably be leaving for India around that same time and he usually stays for a month or two. But I'll see what happens.

                          Thank you so much for all your help and for your patience!

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