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Can employer legally keep final paycheck?

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Can employer legally keep final paycheck?

Old 09-08-12, 08:14 AM
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Can employer legally keep final paycheck?

About a month ago, I had decided I couldn't deal with the current bullshit at my job anymore. Received a job offer from another company and put my 2 weeks in w/ resignation letter. They kind of countered the offer, so I decided to give them one more month to try and get things changed (only because with the increase in salary + commission, I would financially make more with the current job). Fast forward to today, things haven't changed and things have become even more shady. The new job has still been in contact w/ me and wants me to start Monday.

I found out that when employees leave the company I currently work for, they actually withhold your final commission check to "cover" future returns and carrier chargebacks. I was never informed of this during the hiring process or my training, and never signed anything saying I agree to these terms when I was hired. Is this something the company can legally do? Besides threaten legal action through small claims court, what can I do to make sure that should I leave, I get paid for everything that I am owed.
Old 09-08-12, 09:01 AM
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Re: Can employer legally keep final paycheck?

They could possibly hold back the commission, but I don't believe they can hold back the salary portion of your paycheck. The check with the flea for details or yourstates labor department
Old 09-08-12, 10:21 AM
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Re: Can employer legally keep final paycheck?

If it's salary, no.

Also, never accept a counteroffer.
Old 09-08-12, 10:24 AM
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Re: Can employer legally keep final paycheck?

Originally Posted by Tracer Bullet View Post
.....
Also, never accept a counteroffer.
You should have told him that about a month ago!
Old 09-08-12, 10:48 AM
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Re: Can employer legally keep final paycheck?

Originally Posted by movieguru View Post
The check with the flea for details
They should've sprayed in the accounting dept.
Old 09-08-12, 11:41 AM
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Re: Can employer legally keep final paycheck?

Originally Posted by DirkUSA View Post
You should have told him that about a month ago!
Originally Posted by TomOpus View Post
They should've sprayed in the accounting dept.
Ziiiiinnnnggg!

Old 09-08-12, 12:36 PM
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Re: Can employer legally keep final paycheck?

I didn't try to hold back a full commission before, but once tried to hold back 25% of a commission for an agent who left suddenly. The justification of the 25% being held back was that this was the ordinary amount of a referral fee paid to agents in the office when they took over a deal for someone, or did an unusual amount of work on a deal. Because the agent left early on in the deal, I ended up doing the bulk of the work. Hell, I felt justified in giving the agent just 25% as the referral, but didn't. Anyway, the judge decided I was wrong. But this particular judge also doesn't know shit.
Old 09-08-12, 12:39 PM
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Re: Can employer legally keep final paycheck?

Originally Posted by Tracer Bullet View Post
If it's salary, no.

Also, never accept a counteroffer.
Why is that? Is it generally a ploy to screw you over?
Old 09-08-12, 01:19 PM
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Re: Can employer legally keep final paycheck?

Seems reasonable that they would hold commission. Assuming that it's always been adjusted when chargebacks and returns occur. I would guess that a 90 day buffer is reasonable.
Old 09-08-12, 01:34 PM
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Re: Can employer legally keep final paycheck?

Originally Posted by movieguru View Post
They could possibly hold back the commission, but I don't believe they can hold back the salary portion of your paycheck. The check with the flea for details or yourstates labor department
That's what I'm thinking, too. You are legally owed your salary, but things like commissions and bonuses seem like more of a gray area.
Old 09-08-12, 01:39 PM
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Re: Can employer legally keep final paycheck?

Originally Posted by Josh-da-man View Post
That's what I'm thinking, too. You are legally owed your salary, but things like commissions and bonuses seem like more of a gray area.
Absolutely. If commissions are normally subject to chargebacks and returns, I don't think anything questionable is going on here.

Did they pay you the "hourly" side of your check?
Old 09-08-12, 03:08 PM
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Re: Can employer legally keep final paycheck?

Where I work, we forfeit our bonuses if we quit.

I would think that commissions would work the same way, but a lot of it will come down to state law, company policy, and what kind of contracts you might have signed.

If state law says you are owed your commissions, or the contract you signed states you are entitled to them, then you are legally entitled to any commissions you might have earned.

Businesses will try to get away with as much as they can, and if they don't think you'll fight for something you are owed that they can get away with withholding, they're probably not going to go out of their way to give it to you.
Old 09-08-12, 03:50 PM
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Re: Can employer legally keep final paycheck?

No, your employer cannot withhold your final paycheck.
Old 09-08-12, 04:09 PM
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Re: Can employer legally keep final paycheck?

What the fuck is wrong with this world when an employer can't legally hold a final paycheck for someone? do you have any idea how much payroll costs employers? I mean you're making them money, increasing the goodwill of the company, and creating value for your employer, and now you want to be compensated appropriately?! what is wrong with you people?

Believe it or not, by actually forgoing this paycheck, it's actually making you wealthier, because the poorer you are, the wealthier you are in reality. Seriously, fuck that paycheck. If you want to be rich, go work in an Australian coal mine for $2 an hour!
Old 09-08-12, 04:11 PM
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Re: Can employer legally keep final paycheck?

Originally Posted by Superboy View Post
What the fuck is wrong with this world when an employer can't legally hold a final paycheck for someone? do you have any idea how much payroll costs employers? I mean you're making them money, increasing the goodwill of the company, and creating value for your employer, and now you want to be compensated appropriately?! what is wrong with you people?

Believe it or not, by actually forgoing this paycheck, it's actually making you wealthier, because the poorer you are, the wealthier you are in reality. Seriously, fuck that paycheck. If you want to be rich, go work in an Australian coal mine for $2 an hour!
Say you work as a car sales man, why would they pay you on "pending" deals? If your not there any more, the deal falls through, should they have to pay you for that?
Old 09-08-12, 05:10 PM
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Re: Can employer legally keep final paycheck?

Originally Posted by Me007gold View Post
Say you work as a car sales man, why would they pay you on "pending" deals? If your not there any more, the deal falls through, should they have to pay you for that?
...yes. They do. I used to work in a commissioned job and when I left there were returns within a 90 day period and the store covered the loss. The reasoning is, you can still negotiate with a customer making a return, but not if you're not there any more.
Old 09-08-12, 05:13 PM
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Re: Can employer legally keep final paycheck?

So there's a lot of variables here. Can't you just call and ask someone? A payroll department or well-informed manager?

My questions for you and them are...

1. Did you get paid your hourly rate, but not your commission? Or did they withold both? I would imagine that you can force the "non-commissioned" rate to be paid immediately.

2. How long do they withhold it? For chargebacks, I could see 90 days. Anything less, and you should be happy.

3. Did you really not have an employment agreement? I have NEVER heard of that before. If you didn't sign any paperwork when you were hired, it really is a piece-of-shit business. Was all of this in a few-page employment agreement when you started working there? I'd imagine they had you sign something, written in plain english, what the terms are. The agreement should have informed you of the hold, the possible chargeback/return adjustments, and the end-of-employment structure.

4. How long is the delay? And how much are they witholding? At a certain point, they'd probably just hand it over if you threaten to contact a local labor attourney. If you really didn't sign anything, a simple threat should be enough to get a check cut next-day.

I take it that this is why most places would just pay a reasonable hourly rate, with monthly or yearly bonuses. What you are describing seems very complicated.

Is it safe to assume that you were at a collections agency - or maybe one of those high-pressure cold-call salesman jobs? I know people who work in collections. It's a crazy, hostile workplace. They purposely hire those kind of people because they are confrontational.
Old 09-08-12, 09:04 PM
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Re: Can employer legally keep final paycheck?

Originally Posted by Pizza View Post
Why is that? Is it generally a ploy to screw you over?
http://money.usnews.com/money/blogs/...a-counteroffer
Old 09-08-12, 09:18 PM
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Re: Can employer legally keep final paycheck?

Originally Posted by TomOpus View Post
They should've sprayed in the accounting dept.
lol. I was typing this in on my wife's Ipod and didn't bother to proofread it. I meant to say check with the FLSA for details on what the can legally hold back from your paycheck.
Old 09-08-12, 10:21 PM
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Re: Can employer legally keep final paycheck?

Originally Posted by troystiffler View Post
So there's a lot of variables here. Can't you just call and ask someone? A payroll department or well-informed manager?

My questions for you and them are...

1. Did you get paid your hourly rate, but not your commission? Or did they withold both? I would imagine that you can force the "non-commissioned" rate to be paid immediately.

2. How long do they withhold it? For chargebacks, I could see 90 days. Anything less, and you should be happy.

3. Did you really not have an employment agreement? I have NEVER heard of that before. If you didn't sign any paperwork when you were hired, it really is a piece-of-shit business. Was all of this in a few-page employment agreement when you started working there? I'd imagine they had you sign something, written in plain english, what the terms are. The agreement should have informed you of the hold, the possible chargeback/return adjustments, and the end-of-employment structure.

4. How long is the delay? And how much are they witholding? At a certain point, they'd probably just hand it over if you threaten to contact a local labor attourney. If you really didn't sign anything, a simple threat should be enough to get a check cut next-day.

I take it that this is why most places would just pay a reasonable hourly rate, with monthly or yearly bonuses. What you are describing seems very complicated.

Is it safe to assume that you were at a collections agency - or maybe one of those high-pressure cold-call salesman jobs? I know people who work in collections. It's a crazy, hostile workplace. They purposely hire those kind of people because they are confrontational.
I appreciate all the feedback. I haven't left the current job yet. I've been at a crossroads of whether I should stay (and continue to put up with the bullshit) or leave for this other job and take a paycut. If I was to leave, I would get my salary for the pay period and that's it. Commission and bonuses (which are pretty high for the past month) are lost to cover chargebacks. It's not held for X amount of days and then paid out to me.

There was no signed agreement upon hire and no mention of that until a recent conversation I had with my DM. And no, I don't work collections. I work for a privately-owned cell phone dealer.
Old 09-08-12, 10:55 PM
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Re: Can employer legally keep final paycheck?

Originally Posted by Drav3n View Post
I appreciate all the feedback. I haven't left the current job yet. I've been at a crossroads of whether I should stay (and continue to put up with the bullshit) or leave for this other job and take a paycut. If I was to leave, I would get my salary for the pay period and that's it. Commission and bonuses (which are pretty high for the past month) are lost to cover chargebacks. It's not held for X amount of days and then paid out to me.

There was no signed agreement upon hire and no mention of that until a recent conversation I had with my DM. And no, I don't work collections. I work for a privately-owned cell phone dealer.
This site might be useful: http://www.workplacefairness.org/stateagencies
Old 09-09-12, 05:40 AM
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Re: Can employer legally keep final paycheck?

No, they cannot.
Old 09-09-12, 12:29 PM
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Re: Can employer legally keep final paycheck?

We hold back money to cover equipment (company phone ect) and uniforms. Once those are turned it we always pay out final check. We even do so if the reason for letting them go is theft and we have not recovered the money yet.

We also pay out unused vacation/time off but only if they give us a notice.
Old 09-09-12, 02:31 PM
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Re: Can employer legally keep final paycheck?

Originally Posted by Drav3n View Post
About a month ago, I had decided I couldn't deal with the current bullshit at my job anymore. Received a job offer from another company and put my 2 weeks in w/ resignation letter. They kind of countered the offer, so I decided to give them one more month to try and get things changed (only because with the increase in salary + commission, I would financially make more with the current job). Fast forward to today, things haven't changed and things have become even more shady. The new job has still been in contact w/ me and wants me to start Monday.

I found out that when employees leave the company I currently work for, they actually withhold your final commission check to "cover" future returns and carrier chargebacks. I was never informed of this during the hiring process or my training, and never signed anything saying I agree to these terms when I was hired. Is this something the company can legally do? Besides threaten legal action through small claims court, what can I do to make sure that should I leave, I get paid for everything that I am owed.
Other than sending them a letter, promising to sue them for 10x what they owe you...don't give 2 weeks notice.
Old 09-09-12, 02:48 PM
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Re: Can employer legally keep final paycheck?

Originally Posted by DVD Polizei View Post
Other than sending them a letter, promising to sue them for 10x what they owe you...don't give 2 weeks notice.
This is what a former co-worker did. She was in sales and she was telling me how they kept your last two weeks of pay. She said she had gotten a new job and wasn't going to give 2 weeks notice because of this. She was the first to do this and it caused quite an uproar with the owner. They made the rest of the sales staff sign an agreement that they must give 2 weeks. I assume if you didn't sign it you'd be fired. Not sure if such a paper would hold up under those circumstances. Still, if you want to use your soon to be former company as reference down the road or even return then it might be good to grin and bear it.

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