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Good afternoon. I am Loren, a licensed attorney, and I look forward to assisting you. I am sorry to hear of your dilemma. I realize how frustrating this is for you and I hope to provide you information which is accurate and useful, even though it may not be the news you were hoping to get.
Unfortunately, you can not legally withhold money from the final paycheck. Only tax withholding and certain limited obligations may legally withheld from a paycheck.
Your remedy is to sue the ex employee for breach of contract and obtain a money judgement. Once you have a judgment you can attach and levy his assets or garnich his accounts until the judgment is paid.
I realize this is probably not the answer you were hoping to receive. Also, please remember that this is not a moral judgement on my part. As a professional, however, I am sometimes placed in the position of having to deliver news which is not favorable to a customer's legal position, but accurately reflects their position under the law. I hate it, but it happens and I only ask that you not penalize me with a bad or poor rating for having to deliver less than favorable news.
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