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I didn't get my last check from my ex employer. He is

Customer Question
refusing to pay me and...
I didn't get my last check from my ex employer. He is refusing to pay me and says there was missing money. I didnt take any money from him. Its been six weeks.
JA: Because employment law varies from place to place, can you tell me what state this is in?
Customer: Iowa
JA: Is the employment agreement "at will," union, full time or part time?
Customer: At will
JA: Anything else you want the lawyer to know before I connect you?
Customer: He never made any contact with me after l was let go, until i started asking for my check
Submitted: 6 months ago.Category: Employment Law
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Answered in 15 minutes by:
5/11/2017
Employment Lawyer: Lucy, Esq., Lawyer replied 6 months ago
Lucy, Esq.
Lucy, Esq., Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 30,596
Experience: Former judicial law clerk, lawyer
Verified

Hi,

I'm Lucy, and I'd be happy to answer your questions today. I'm sorry to hear that this happened.

An employer in Iowa must pay an employee his final paycheck on or before the next scheduled pay day for those wages. Meaning, you should have gotten the check at the same time you'd have gotten it if you kept working there. Iowa Code, Section 91A.4. An employer may not deduct from an employee's wages or withhold funds without the employee's consent or a court order. It is illegal to withhold for cash shortages. Section 91A.5.

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Employment Lawyer: Lucy, Esq., Lawyer replied 6 months ago

When an employee sues to recover unpaid wages, the employer can be made to pay a 5% penalty, plus the employee's court costs and attorney's fees. Section 91A.8, 91A.2. Attorney's fees alone could be a few thousand dollars.

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Employment Lawyer: Lucy, Esq., Lawyer replied 6 months ago

One option is to send the employer a letter, explaining that he's broken the law and that he'll have to pay your legal fees when you sue him for the money you're owed. You could also have a local attorney send the letter, insisting that the employer reimburse him for that cost. Or you could go to Small Claims Court and sue for the money you're owed. If you sue, he may try to do a counterclaim for the money he says is missing.

Another option is to file a Wage Claim with the state and ask them to collect for you. An employer can't counterclaim through the state. He'd have to decide whether he wanted to commit perjury in order to sue you separately.

http://www.iowadivisionoflabor.gov/sites/authoring.iowadivisionoflabor.gov/files/WAGE.claim_.pdf

If you have any questions or concerns about my response, please reply WITHOUT RATING. It's important that you are 100% satisfied with my courtesy and professionalism. Otherwise, please rate my service positively so I am paid for the time I spend answering questions. If you are on a mobile device, you may need to scroll to the right. There is no charge for follow-up questions. Thank you.

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Customer reply replied 6 months ago
Thank you. None of the questions about missing money came up until I asked for my final paycheck and told him he was in violation of Iowa law. I didn't take any money, money was not kept in a safe at the store, all employees had access. I feel like he is trying to intimidate me with the accusations so I won't pursue the check.
Employment Lawyer: Lucy, Esq., Lawyer replied 6 months ago

I'm sure he is. You don't have to let him do that. The state can investigate for you.

Or you can hire a lawyer and make him pay for it. That might discourage him from doing the same thing to other employees.

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Customer reply replied 6 months ago
Additionally, he doesn't provide the amount missing, just that it's substantial.The paycheck is less than $700.
Employment Lawyer: Lucy, Esq., Lawyer replied 6 months ago

You could sue in Small Claims Court without a lawyer. The forms and instructions are here:

http://www.iowacourts.gov/Court_Rules__Forms/Small_Claims_Forms/

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Lucy, Esq.
Lucy, Esq.
Lucy, Esq., Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 30,596
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Experience: Former judicial law clerk, lawyer

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