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Old 04-07-2011, 02:30 PM
 
Location: St. Augustine
9,258 posts, read 11,278,248 times
Reputation: 7385
Quote:
Originally Posted by OngletNYC View Post
If the answers to these questions are no, then he may need to suck it up, sign the agreement and get on with his life.

I'm just a'guessin' but I'd think that if one signed such an agreement under the duress of an illegal act it wouldn't be binding anyway.
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Old 04-07-2011, 02:53 PM
 
Location: Phoenix, AZ
668 posts, read 993,611 times
Reputation: 850
Quote:
Originally Posted by OngletNYC View Post
Well now your coworkers has to face reality. It may be illegal for them to withhold his/her pay, but it doesn't mean they will just hand it over. Is your coworker willing to pay an attorney to fight for his pay? Is it enough money to be worth a legal battle? Does he have money to tide him over while fighting for it? If the answers to these questions are no, then he may need to suck it up, sign the agreement and get on with his life.
From what I've been reading it seems this situation would be an issue for the state labor board. The former employee would not need to lawyer up to get this resolved. I'm really not concerned about his situation and what he does...I'm researching this in case this happens to me.
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Old 04-07-2011, 06:34 PM
 
Location: NYC
7,373 posts, read 6,935,648 times
Reputation: 10048
Quote:
Originally Posted by Irishtom29 View Post
I'm just a'guessin' but I'd think that if one signed such an agreement under the duress of an illegal act it wouldn't be binding anyway.
That's probably true.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bungle View Post
From what I've been reading it seems this situation would be an issue for the state labor board. The former employee would not need to lawyer up to get this resolved. I'm really not concerned about his situation and what he does...I'm researching this in case this happens to me.
That is still a serious time drain. How much time are you willing to spend fighting for two weeks worth of pay, time you could instead be looking for a new job? I'm not saying it isn't worth fighting for this, just that its good to think about it as a business proposition for yourself.
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Old 04-07-2011, 06:58 PM
 
4,806 posts, read 11,394,783 times
Reputation: 4557
Quote:
I'm just a'guessin' but I'd think that if one signed such an agreement under the duress of an illegal act it wouldn't be binding anyway.
That is true. They can't pressure you to sign it on the spot. Thave to give you a chance to consult with a lawyer of to think about it on your own. Typically you are given a week to do so and get the form returned, signed, if you want the severance pay.

State labor departments go after unpaid wages, but it definitely takes time. They do the legwork for you, so it's not time consuming on your part. Just answer a few questions. But it could be months or even years before you ever see the money. Shady employers sort of count on workers doing the cost-benefit analysis and not pursuing any complaint over just one paycheck.
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Old 04-07-2011, 09:51 PM
 
Location: St. Augustine
9,258 posts, read 11,278,248 times
Reputation: 7385
Quote:
Originally Posted by kodaka View Post
State labor departments go after unpaid wages, but it definitely takes time. They do the legwork for you, so it's not time consuming on your part. Just answer a few questions. But it could be months or even years before you ever see the money. Shady employers sort of count on workers doing the cost-benefit analysis and not pursuing any complaint over just one paycheck.

This is one reason I think more labor law should be made criminal rather than civil; if a boss illegally holds back wages owed it should be treated as theft and he should be arrested and charged with theft just as an employee who had stolen goods from an employer could be. Turn these things over to the police rather than labor departments. Lock a few of these buggers up and watch them change their tune.
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Old 04-07-2011, 10:17 PM
 
16,466 posts, read 6,801,625 times
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Secondary problem is with unemployment claims at high levels, no doubt some ex DOL inspectors and other enforcers have probably been shifted over to the claims processing side.
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Old 04-08-2011, 12:20 AM
 
Location: The Middle
5,222 posts, read 7,556,644 times
Reputation: 6557
State laws may play a part. When I lived in MI I left my job working at a large hospital. They told me I could not have my last paycheck until I did an exit interview. It was a horrible job and I did not want to go back for this stupid exit interview when they could have done it on my last day. I called labor board of relations. They told me the company could not do this. The labor board called the hospital. My paycheck arrived two days later via fedex.
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Old 04-08-2011, 04:59 AM
 
2,000 posts, read 2,563,233 times
Reputation: 1561
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bungle View Post
My company is going through rough times. Long story short the two owners are feuding with each other as they attempt to part ways and split up ownership. This has created a very hostile work environment. A co-worker was terminated last week for what appears to be no reason other than not getting along with one of owners. The company owes him for the past two weeks of work as well as unused vacation time. The owner is now refusing to give him what's due unless he signs a disclosure agreement stating that he will not take legal action against the company. Can they legally withhold his pay until he signs something?

I know the owner is trying to cover himself because pretty much every employee would have a legit legal case against the company right now for various things that have happened in the workplace.

Thank you in advance for your responses!
No, but there are specific rules in each state that governs when the last paycheck must be paid for both involuntary and voluntary terminations.

In some states, it has to be paid THAT day- other states within 30 days, or within the next paycheck, etc.
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Old 04-08-2011, 05:15 AM
 
6,108 posts, read 5,307,700 times
Reputation: 6000
Quote:
Originally Posted by dspguy View Post
Let's not leave out the possibility that someone could leave the company with money owed to the company via personal accounts (like a company credit card) or if they had a negative sick/vacation balance. Then the company could certainly withhold pay.
I disagree.

The company owes the pay, should fill out a paycheck with the amout "Zero Dollars and no/100 cents" showing gross pay along with the amounts deducted for both taxes and negative sick/vacation time etc.
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Old 04-08-2011, 09:24 AM
 
Location: Bradenton, Florida
27,238 posts, read 25,934,942 times
Reputation: 10558
The situation I was thinking of doesn't apply in this case. They could be withholding pay until all company property was returned to them. Like I said, that doesn't seem to apply.

I'd just sign the ****ed paper and get on with life.
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