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Can UNM Withholding my paycheck? New Mexico

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  • Can UNM Withholding my paycheck? New Mexico

    Greetings,
    I am an employee at the (school, college level) in Albuquerque. I have recently submitted my resignation and am completing the Separation Check-Off List for Staff Employees. One of the signatures required to separate from the University is from the Bursar's Office.

    Backstory: I graduated in 2002 from the (school) and owed approximately $1,000, which is more now due to interest that has accrued.

    Can they withhold my paycheck because I owe this money? There is no specific policy for doing so; none in writing in their online policies and procedures manual at least.

    Would they have to pay me at least minimum wage for the 80 hours I worked and keep the difference?

    Shouldn't this be a separate matter that they handle through debt collection practices/efforts?

    Thanks for your help!
    Last edited by konarider; 03-25-2008, 11:13 AM.

  • #2
    I know zip about your state's laws, but I can talk to federal law only. Under the very poorly written federal rules (29 CFR 531.xxx and the following factsheet) I could make a pretty good argument that the employer could consider this legally to be a "for the benefit of the employer" deduction, which means that you have to be paid MW and OT, but anything else goes.

    However, state law is often more favorable to the employee then federal law on recoveries. Perhaps another responder knows your state's laws in this matter.

    http://www.dol.gov/esa/regs/compliance/whd/whdfs16.htm
    "Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away".
    Philip K. **** (1928-1982)

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    • #3
      Here's the state FAQ (#20)

      Q. What can the employer deduct from wages?

      A. No deduction can be made except appropriate state, federal and social security taxes without a written authorization from the employee or a court order. In all cases, the employee must receive the minimum wage.

      http://www.dws.state.nm.us/dws-qlid.html
      I don't respond to Private Messages unless the moderator specifically refers you to me for that purpose. Thank you.

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      • #4
        Please do not post the name of your employer. Less than a month ago we had a poster who was fired because of his thread here and it was a legal firing; we do not want the same thing to happen to you.
        The above answer, whatever it is, assumes that no legally binding and enforceable contract or CBA says otherwise. If it does, then the terms of the contract or CBA apply.

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        • #5
          Thank you cbg for correcting my posting and making me aware of possible adverse consequences! I plan to be a temp employee at the school and do not want any trouble because of a silly semantic error.

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          • #6
            In that case can you edit the title because it's in there too.
            "Pluralitas non est ponenda sine neccesitate'' - Sir William of Ockham, a.k.a. Ockham's Razor

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            • #7
              I can only sometimes edit the title and have not had any luck with this one so far. There's only so much I can do.
              The above answer, whatever it is, assumes that no legally binding and enforceable contract or CBA says otherwise. If it does, then the terms of the contract or CBA apply.

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