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what are the laws regarding the last paycheck for a dentist

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what are the laws regarding the last paycheck for a dentist who unexpectedly left a practice? He is paid on commision. He left patients incomplete that he wants full pay. So there will some issues figuring out the correct. He is reponsible for one half of the lab bill on any cases billed in the month of Feb. But many of the cases will be completed by another doctor. He would normally be paid one half of the commissioned amount on March 15 and one half on April 1. I only found out he was leaving on Mon. 11. I still have no written letter of resignation.


My name isXXXXX'm a licensed attorney (State Bar of Texas). Glad to try and help out.

I'm pleased to share the following information with you. Here's how this works. Such situations are governed by the Texas Payday Law, or more particular as codified at Texas Labor Code § 61.014. For a quit or a resignation (i.e. not being fired), his final paycheck is due on the next regularly-scheduled payday following the effective date of his resignation. In other words, unlike with a termination, you don't have to go to any special bother (six calendar days in the event of a discharge). With no effective resignation date (yet), you have even more time on your hands until he lets you know (officially) what's going on, either by tendering a written notice of at least verbally saying he's quitting. And that statutory language about the next regularly schedule payday pertains to both salary and commissions (or bonuses) equally, no distinction based on how certain amounts may be regarded differently as an internal (accounting) matter. I mention that just in case you divide things up differently, as some dental practices do. So, unless you and he have a written agreement (contract) to the contrary, the botXXXXX XXXXXne is once you know the effective date of the resignation, his final paycheck is due on your next payday per your regular schedule. Do that and you'll be in good shape for compliance with the law.

If you have a follow-up question or need clarification, please just say the word by using "reply" to reach me.

I truly hope all works out for you.

Take care,

Ben, J.D.

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Thank You. What about any amount still in question due to adjustments, lab bills, and uncollected amounts. I am out of town without access to all of the information. Also if he came to the office on Mon. the 11th to get his personal items, is that considered a verbal resignation? I sold the practice to a DSMO on Feb 25th. So I would guess the next payday is still March 15 for my old practice. Would It need to be the full amount or divied on 15th and 1st of April per normal procedure.

Hello again,
Thanks for writing back...great to hear from you!
You're quite pleasure entirely to be of help!
Sure, logical questions, and I'm glad to expound. The following information applies assuming you don't have a written contract in place. If you do have one, its provisions control. I'll take your additional questions in the order presented to try and stay organized, as follow:
(1) "What about any amount still in question due to adjustments, lab bills, and uncollected amounts. I am out of town without access to all of the information."
40 T.A.C. § 821.26(d) provides in pertinent part that: "[d]raws against commissions or bonuses may be recovered from the current or any subsequent pay period until fully reconciled." This is a highly "employer friendly" provision, meaning it could be a good while until everything is reconciled (insurance, billing) so the dentist gets his payout.
(2) "Also if he came to the office on Mon. the 11th to get his personal items, is that considered a verbal resignation?"
Yes, I would say so. Texas law demands no set "magic words", meaning one need not literally say "I resign". It comes down to a plain meaning and reasonable interpretation of the circumstances. He retrieved his personal property, showing an intent to absent himself from the workplace, so that's a voluntary quit in my book (and based on my experience the Texas Workforce Commission would agree).
(3) "Would It need to be the full amount or divided on 15th and 1st of April per normal procedure."
Nothing special is required, just follow your usual procedure (and note as outlined above that you do have a right to reconcile in the case of commissions and/or bonuses).

Hope that helps some more and that all goes smoothly!

Kind regards,
Ben, J.D.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

So I should be OK to wait until outstanding issues are resolved and verified? Also there are some questions regarding some of his previous pay calculations that he submitted to the payroll service, which could amount to him being overpaid for the last year. This coming to light probably contributed to his choice to not continue employment. I feel he may be going on the offensive because he knows this is an issue.

Hi there,
Yes, indeed, and that's where this sort of scenario drives former employees crazy as it's so favorable to the employer. You're lawfully allowed to wait until the dust settles, so to speak, meaning receiving self-pays and insurance -- whatever is required in your usual procedure when it comes to commissions. It's much different than a regular "time card punching" employee, and the law expressly allows for you to wait until outstanding bills are reconciled and so forth, as you mentioned.
Have a great weekend!
Best regards,
Ben, J.D.
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Ben, J.D.