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Patrick, Esq.
Patrick, Esq., Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
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Experience:  Significant experience in all areas of employment law.
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I have an employee that quit and when he was red, he signed

Customer Question

I have an employee that quit and when he was hired, he signed an agreement that states if he doesn't give 2 weeks notice, that his last paycheck will go back to minimum wage.
He took his paycheck on a Wednesday and he never came back. There is one day that he wasn't paid for so I stopped payment on his check and reissued a check for the revised amount. Now he's hiring a lawyer that says I owe him the original amount and I also owe for the stop payment fee and $100 legal fees.
Submitted: 10 months ago.
Category: Employment Law
Expert:  Patrick, Esq. replied 10 months ago.

Hello and thank you for entrusting me to assist you. My name is ***** ***** I will do everything I can to answer your question.

Arguably, your agreement constitutes a retroactive reduction of earned wages. As such, it would be unenforceable and any effort to pay the employee less than their full wages would be illegal. You could certainly attempt to litigate the issue, arguing that since the employee agreed to the reduction in advance it is not truly retroactive. But if right now you are only being asked to pay $100 in legal fees, that is an extremely small amount. It will only go up from here if you fight the issue, and the risk of an adverse judgment--plus a much larger attorney fee award--is high. For most employers, it would not be worth it to fight this out of principle.

I know this probably isn't what you are hoping to hear, but I trust you will appreciate an honest and direct answer to your question. Please do not hesitate to let me know if you have any questions or concerns regarding the above and I will be more than happy to assist you further.