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We have fired an employee for theft, around $15,000. The…

We have fired an...

We have fired an employee for theft, around $15,000. The employee is requesting their last paycheck and unemployment benefits. Am I required to issue her last check and will she actually receive benefits?

Lawyer's Assistant: Because employment law varies from place to place, can you tell me what state this is in?

Texas

Lawyer's Assistant: Is the employment agreement "at will," union, full time or part time?

At will and full time

Lawyer's Assistant: Anything else you want the lawyer to know before I connect you?

That is the basics

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Customer reply replied 6 months ago
We do have solid documentation to back this up as well. She also stole merchandise from our store.
Answered in 7 minutes by:
12/28/2017
Legal Eagle
Legal Eagle, Lawyer
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 13,340
Experience: Licensed to practice before state and federal court
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Hello! I am a licensed attorney, admitted to practice in state and federal court. I have a nearly 100% satisfaction rating (click here for more info) so all that means is that you can count on me to help today. Because I want to provide you with the most accurate answer possible, do you mind if I take a moment to review your question?

Please keep in mind that our conversation does not include an attorney-client relationship and this is for general information purposes only.

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Customer reply replied 6 months ago
Absolutely, thank you for your help.

I'm sorry to hear about your situation. Generally, you do have to provide the employee with their last paycheck. You have to make your regular deductions as far as taxes and union dues, for example. You can also deduct for the theft as well if you like or you can charge them later. An employer may not deduct for cash shortage, breakage, or equipment loss unless caused by the employee's gross negligence, or dishonest or willful act. Theft is one of those willful acts.

As far as unemployment, it is highly unlikely they will receive it because a person has to be terminated through no fault of their own. Theft is a fault based reason for termination and I have no reason to believe the state would issue unemployment benefits.

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Customer reply replied 6 months ago
Thank you for your answer. We are a very small company, 15 employees and this has been new territory for me. So you are saying, in Texas, I have a right to deduct from their paycheck the theft? It was credit card fraud. She would use old sales, return them to her credit card. There were over 40 instances.
That's correct. You can deduct it from their paycheck. One thing that you have to remember is that you cannot go below what they would normally be paid under the minimum wage. So, you can deduct up until that point in than Bill them for the rest of the money. Did you have any other questions for me tonight? If not, were you satisfied with your answe?
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Customer reply replied 6 months ago
Thank you! You have answered my question.
You bet! Would you mind providing me a 5-star rating today if you don't have any other questions?
Legal Eagle
Legal Eagle, Lawyer
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 13,340
Experience: Licensed to practice before state and federal court
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DISCLAIMER: Answers from Experts on JustAnswer are not substitutes for the advice of an attorney. JustAnswer is a public forum and questions and responses are not private or confidential or protected by the attorney-client privilege. The Expert above is not your attorney, and the response above is not legal advice. You should not read this response to propose specific action or address specific circumstances, but only to give you a sense of general principles of law that might affect the situation you describe. Application of these general principles to particular circumstances must be done by a lawyer who has spoken with you in confidence, learned all relevant information, and explored various options. Before acting on these general principles, you should hire a lawyer licensed to practice law in the jurisdiction to which your question pertains.

The responses above are from individual Experts, not JustAnswer. The site and services are provided “as is”. To view the verified credential of an Expert, click on the “Verified” symbol in the Expert’s profile. This site is not for emergency questions which should be directed immediately by telephone or in-person to qualified professionals. Please carefully read the Terms of Service (last updated February 8, 2012).

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