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Thread: Does my employer have a right to withhold my money? Texas

  1. #1
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    Default Does my employer have a right to withhold my money? Texas

    I recently quit a job after a few years of employment. I did not give a two weeks notice, I just never returned. I asked my employer by text to give my paycheck to another employee to bring to me, and in return for it, I would return the shop key. She refused to give my money to this employee and said I would have to pick it up myself. I suggested that family would bring by the key in return for my money and, again, she refused stating that she would not give my money to anyone but me. I finally did have someone drop off the shop key, but still do not have my money. I have repeatedly asked that she send it through a third party, but she refuses. Can she legally do this? Doesn't she have to give me my money? If I don't want to pick it up from her personally, and she doesn't want to give it to a third party to give to me, does she then have to mail it to me? What are my legal rights if any? Is she within her rights? Please help. Also, customarily, all employees are paid in person. It is a small business, and mail or direct deposit has never been an option.

    Thanks for your help.

    Jenny

  2. #2
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    The employer has a legal obligation to pay due wages. They do not have a legal obligation to use your third party of choice as an intermediary. There are some reasons they should not want to. Any half smart employer would have U.S. mailed (certified) the check to your last known address and be done with it.

    You basically have two choices:

    1. Send them a letter certified U.S. mail. Be very short and very polite. Say please mail the check to _________ address. If they fail to do so after say 10 calendar days, file a wage claim with TX-TWC. This method is not quick, but the employer would have no good legal reason to not have mailed the check. And sending the request via certified mail takes away their likely excuse that they were waiting for you to pick it up.

    2. Alternatively, just take a friend with you and pick up the check. Problem solved.
    "Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away".
    Philip K. **** (1928-1982)

  3. #3
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    Thank you very much. I appreciate the advice.

    Jenny

  4. #4
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    Default There may be more than two choices...

    I take a little different view of this, and do not agree that a certified letter to the employer will necessarily get what the OP seemingly wants (to get their check with no contact with the employer).

    Texas Payday Law, in Section 61.017. Delivery of Payment, says:
    (a) An employer shall pay wages through a means authorized by this section.
    (b) An employer may pay wages by:
    (1) delivering them to the employee at the employee's regular place of employment during regular employment hours;
    (2) delivering them to the employee at a time and place agreed on by the employer and employee;
    (3) sending them to the employee by registered mail, to be received by the employee not later than payday;
    (4) delivering them in a manner similar to a manner specified by Subdivision (1), (2), or (3) to a person designated by the employee in writing; or
    (5) delivering them to the employee by any reasonable means authorized by the employee in writing....


    While I agree that a reasonable employer would happily mail the payment on request (or agree to deliver it to someone designated by the employee in writing)--the employer and employee here have both decided to make the process disagreeable.

    It's entirely possible that a request to mail the payment would obtain the payment, but there is no legal requirement for the employer to do this. The employer MAY choose any of the methods delineated in the Payday Law, in my opinion.

    Ulltimately, the employer could 1) refuse to deliver the wages at all, 2) the employee could file a claim for unpaid wages, 3) TWC could order the wages paid (or not), and 4) the wages, if ordered, would be delivered to the State and sent to the employee--that'll take some time, and a bunch of it. Also some effort and expense.

    Jenny, why don't you just go get your pay? I'd think you could use it more than your employer, and the little gamesmanship here is not helping either of you. Alternatively, you could pursue the Payday Law options (2) or (5), but that still takes your time, effort, and grief.
    Last edited by Texas709; 06-03-2011 at 07:17 AM. Reason: sp

  5. #5
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    Default

    So you quit without notice and then held the shop key hostage in order to force your employer to give your paycheck to a third party. Not the best way to get your employer to accommodate your request.

    Just go get your paycheck for goodness sake.

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