Can an employer in FL withhold a weeks severance pay for items that believe that I possess?

I was let go on 11/16. My boss told me I would get paid for the next two weeks, one of those weeks was the week I worked, the next week was not worked, but, nonetheless he told me that I would receive it. While employed, I ordered on my own credit card aprons totaling $200 for a company function. I sent them to a friend who was embroidering them for free as a favor to me. When I left, there was no mention of the aprons. When I received my final paycheck it was for one week. I emailed my former boss (in an attempt to get the response in writing) that it was for one week which is not what he stated. He replied that I should call him to discuss it as I haven't returned any phone calls from them the previous week. Knowing that I didn't receive a call regarding these aprons, but, wanted to make sure this was the case, I checked my phone records and confirmed, there was no phone call attempt. When I spoke to him, he asked when I could bring the aprons in, I stated that my friend now wants to be paid for the embroidering. He said he would not as that isn't what we agreed upon. I stated that I would pay her out of my own pocket, but, wanted to know about the paycheck. He stated when I returned the aprons that he would tell payroll to pay me for the final week that he promised. I told him to please put it in the email of which he didn't say anything. I waited for the email and it never came. I emailed him asking him to put it in writing. In response to that email he called me and said that he is not playing the "intimidation game" and putting it in writing and I simply need to return the aprons. He then followed up with another email lying stating that I agreed I am in possession of company property. Technically, I am not, they are with the person who embroidered them. At this point, it is safe to say that I am not going to get the final paycheck, but, I want to tell the employer to work directly with the woman that embroidered the aprons and arrange pick up on his own. Can he sue me over these aprons? Can't I just tell him to deduct it from the final pay that he owes me knowing full well that I won't ever see it anyway?

1 answer  |  asked Dec 1, 2012 08:02 AM [EST]  |  applies to Florida

Answers (1)

Phyllis Towzey
I'm a little confused about the facts here. You say you ordered $200 worth of aprons on your credit card, but the company is taking the position the aprons belong to them. If the company never reimbursed you for the aprons, then in order to get reimbursed you will have to return them. If the company paid for the aprons, then the aprons are their property and you should tell your friend to return them and, if she refused, just send a letter to the company giving them her contact information.

Regarding the severance pay, as I understand you were offered 2 weeks, one of which you were to work (and did work) and the second you did not work. The company has no obligation to pay you for the second week, and you have no legal recourse since you did not work that seek and you don't have a written contract providing for severance.

As far as whether the company could sue you for the aprons, that depends, as noted above, on who paid for them - you or the company. If the co mpany paid for them, they could sue you in small claims court, but it's unlikely a company will file a lawsuit over $200. Hope this helps.

posted by Phyllis Towzey  |  Dec 1, 2012 08:46 AM [EST]

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