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Give Notice or Terminate? Wisconsin

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  • Give Notice or Terminate? Wisconsin

    I will be starting a new job in three weeks. I currently work for a family business that usually tries to screw employees out of their final paycheck and travel expenses(and I do not have an employment contract, because they do not like to put anything in writing). That being said, would I be better off to give notice or terminate immediately? If I give two weeks notice, and they terminate me on the spot (because they think people who are leaving are not going to give them 110%); can I collect unemployment until I start my new job?

    If terminated, I understand WI law is to pay the check on the next usual payday. What about expenses? They usually pay them on the 15th of the month. Can they withhold that payment, eventhough I would have sent in all paperwork required? Thanks.

  • #2
    This is problematic. Wages per se are easy. All states require due wages be paid in a "timely" manner. Each state has somewhat definitions of just what "timely" means but all states have some mechanism to recovery due wages not paid (either state DOL or small claims court), and there is a legal presumption that wages must be paid.

    Expense reimbursement is legally very different. There are only two states (neither of which are WI) that have some type of labor law language presuming that business related expenses must be reimbursed. That is another way of saying that your state's DOL does not care about unreimbursed business expenses at all. Small claims court might work. Not all law is labor law and an argument that the expense was spent as per instructions of the employer with the employee having every expectation of reimbursement could/should have legs in your state. A "detrimental reliance" argument might work, and there are other possible legal theories.

    The key however is in your state unpaid wages and unpaid expenses are legally two very different things. WI is not my state but if you are correctly quoting WI labor law it is discussing wages only.
    "Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away".
    Philip K. **** (1928-1982)


    • #3
      Thank you.

      Thanks for your reply.