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Wanting to know if I have a small claims case or not. Co. I…

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Wanting to know if I have a small claims case or not

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I filed a claim through the labor board but want a judgment faster

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Refusing to pay final wages saying they are using it to pay for property damage that occurred weeks prior during a minor fender bender. While on the clock in company truck. I didn't even collide vehicles my trailer hit a sign that scratches another cars window. I exchanged insurance info and continued working. Company says I didn't follow policy and I'm liable so they don't have to file insurance claim.

Submitted: 6 months ago.Category: Legal
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12/28/2017
Lawyer: Law Educator, Esq., Attorney replied 6 months ago
Law Educator, Esq.
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 125,846
Experience: JA Mentor -Attorney Labor/employment, corporate, sports law, admiralty/maritime and civil rights law
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Thank you for your question. I look forward to working with you to provide you the information you are seeking for educational purposes only. Please feel free to ignore any phone service request, the expert does not send those unless asked by customer and they are sent by the site automatically.

Did you sign any written document agreeing for them to deduct this damage from wages specifically?

Did you follow policy?

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Customer reply replied 6 months ago
I didn't sign anything, although I am being told I didn't follow policy when I just exchanged insurance info and continued working
Customer reply replied 6 months ago
Between the time of accident and the refusal to pay final check. There was at least 2 checks I received that had not been touched. I was paid the 15 and 1st of every month
Lawyer: Law Educator, Esq., Attorney replied 6 months ago

Thank you for your reply.

It is against the Fair Labor Standards Act to deduct or withhold ANYTHING from pay other than standard deductions (taxes, insurance, Social Security) without express written authorization from the employee. So, if the employer is withholding money claiming you damaged their truck or caused them harm from not following policy, they need to have a specific written authorization from you to do so or they are violating the law and you would need to file a wage claim with the US Department of Labor Wage and Hour Division and you can seek 2-3 times the wages due as damages for them improperly withholding pay.

Legally, if they did prove you caused them a loss by your negligence in getting into the accident and not following policy, they can pursue you for the cost of the damage though and do not have to go through their insurance. You know under DOT rules any accident requires drug testing as well. So while you have a claim against the employer for improperly withholding your wages, they can separately seek damages from you for the failure to follow policy and for the damage you caused.

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Customer reply replied 6 months ago
How would they prove I am liable? And I've been informed otherwise. I wasn't holding a CDL at the time no need just a pickup. I am now with hazmat and tanker endorsement and dot only requires drug test in certain accident situations. Not every fender bender statewide. And employer is responsible for paying for drug test. And if it was months ago what's the business legal standpoint on not giving me one then, isnt there a time limit on that sort of thing?
Lawyer: Law Educator, Esq., Attorney replied 6 months ago

Thank you for clarifying you were not holding a CDL at the time.

I do not know who "informed you otherwise," but legally an employer can hold an employee liable for damage they cause with employer property or to employer property.

If you signed nothing agreeing to this withholding, you need to file your complaint with the US Department of Labor Wage and Hour Division.

As far as whether or not you would ACTUALLY be liable, that depends on the employer actual policy and your notice of that policy.

Please do not forget to leave positive feedback by clicking on the 5 stars at the top of your page, as the experts are not employees of the site and get no credit for spending time with customers unless they leave positive feedback. Thank you.

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Customer reply replied 6 months ago
I meant informed about the dot drug testing policy.
I filed the claim with labor board 2 months ago. Send demand of payment at the same time. Labor board takes forever and I don't want them just getting away with it. I just want to know my odds in small claims representing myself and with legal representation. Also if the final wages due are 800 and the 10 days at daily rate is higher than 125% of total. Putting it right around 2000 with penalties, can I double it to 4000 for the federal law on it/ how does the law see a company as "willfully" withholding check. For the 50% penalty?
Lawyer: Law Educator, Esq., Attorney replied 6 months ago

Thank you for your reply.

Under the Fair Labor Standards Act, failure to pay wages allows you to sue for the wages due PLUS liquidated damages equal to the wages due OR double wages due if you can prove it was willful and malicious.

You think the labor board takes forever, court takes just as long. None of this is instantaneous. If you filed your complaint with the labor board you can dismiss the labor board complaint and file suit in court under the fair labor standards act for up to double what is due in wages.

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