Can my employer not give me my last paycheck and vacation time?

I was laid off due to a position elimination two weeks ago. My old employer has asked me to complete some files which I have agreed to. I do not have access to a printer so I can not print the forms to sign off on them once they have been completed. My old supervisor is threating to go to HR on me if I do not find a way to get the forms signed. My concern is that I still have another paycheck coming and two weeks of vacation. Is there anything the company can do as far as holding my paycheck or not paying out my two weeks of vacation? Also when a potential new employer calls to confirm that I worked there what can HR/old supervisor legally tell the employer about me?

1 answer  |  asked Aug 14, 2016 11:47 AM [EST]  |  applies to Florida

Answers (1)

Phyllis Towzey
First of all, unless the amount of work involved is very small, they should pay your for your time. Regarding the printer issue, can you just tell your supervisor to print them off and you will stop by and sign them? After all, it sounds like you are doing a favor for the company.

Regarding you last paycheck, legally your employer cannot withhold your last pay check. However, whether they are required to pay you for any accrued unused vacation depends on company policy.

Finally, previous employers have pretty wide latitude regarding what they can say about you to potential employers seeking a reference. Here's the Florida Statute that protects company's from actions for defamation, except in limited circumstances:

768.095 Employer immunity from liability; disclosure of information regarding former or current employees.—An employer who discloses information about a former or current employee to a prospective employer of the former or current employee upon request of the prospective employer or of the former or current employee is immune from civil liability for such disclosure or its consequences unless it is shown by clear and convincing evidence that the information disclosed by the former or current employer was knowingly false or violated any civil right of the former or current employee protected under chapter 760.

Chapter 760 provides: It is against the law to discriminate in employment on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, handicap or marital status.

posted by Phyllis Towzey  |  Aug 14, 2016 12:15 PM [EST]

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