Thank you for your reply.
With regard to the theft accusation, you are under no obligation to speak to any officer at any tim -regardless of what they may tell you. If they contact you and ask you to come in for questioning, you have every right to tell them you wish to have a lawyer present and will have one get in touch with them. It is not in your best interest to speak to the police or answer anything (or put anything in writing) without speaking to a lawyer first, as what you say or write could potentially be used against you later on.
As it relates to defamation of character - this occurs when a person makes a false statement about another to a third person(s) either in writing (libel) or spoken (slander), resulting in damages. For example, if you were to be denied employment somewhere, and were told it was because they think you are a thief who stole from your last job, potentially, you been defamed and incured damages (the loss of income of a job). If I am being honest with you, however, many lawyers avoid taking defamation cases because unless the defamed person is a celebrity or public figure, and damages sustained arew often minimal and not worth pursuing.
As to the unpaid wages, I don't know how much they are, but you have potentially two options.
Option #1: (From the Arizona Industrial Commission -Labor Department) - When wages owed to an employee are no more than $5,000.00
and the accrual of those unpaid wages does not exceed one year, the employee may file a wage claim with the Department (A.R.S. § 23-350 et seq.
Upon receipt of a claim, the Department will notify the employer of the claim and investigate the case. After investigation of the claim, the Department will provide a written determination which can only be appealed to Superior Court.
An employer who does not comply with a Final Order within ten days after the Order becomes final is liable for triple the amount of the unpaid wages found to be owed.
This is an option if the employer doesn't owe you more than $5,000 because it won't cost you anything to file a claim
. You could still file if the employer owed you more than $5,000, but the most you could hope to recover through this method would be the $5,000 (assuming they comply with the final order if found in your favor).
Option #2: Employees also may file a lawsuit in the civil courts; however, they cannot file with both the State Labor Department and the civil courts. If the employer owes you a lot of money, this is really a better alternative. Of course, it means filing a suit, paying a filing fee, having the employer served, and going through the court process. And of course, there's no guarantee that this will be successful. Even if you are successful and get a judgment against the employer, you still have to collect it, which if they don't pay, can mean additional costs and expenses.
I'm sure this isn't what you wanted to hear, and I wish there was something more positive that I could tell you. But I would rather you know your options, and the reality of what you are up against.