Can Your Employer Withhold Your Final Paycheck in VA?

When leaving a job, receiving your final paycheck is essential for transitioning smoothly to your next endeavor. Employers that fail to provide employees with their last paychecks can leave workers in financial ruin and with unneeded stress. If you work in Virginia, it is important to know the laws surrounding final paychecks and your rights as an employee.

At The Spiggle Law Firm, our employment law attorneys represent Virginia workers who have had their final paychecks wrongfully withheld by their employers. If you believe that your employer has wrongfully withheld your final paycheck or made unauthorized deductions, we will fight for you. Your unpaid wages are rightfully yours, and it is important to assert your rights.

Is It Legal for an Employer in Virginia to Withhold Your Last Paycheck?

Virginia has specific laws in place to protect employees’ rights when it comes to their final paychecks. The Virginia Wage Payment Act (VWPA) is the key legislation governing the payment of wages in the state. Under the VWPA, employers are obligated to adhere to certain guidelines regarding when and how final paychecks should be issued. They are as follows:

Prompt Payment of Final Wages

In Virginia, employers are generally required to pay employees their final wages on or before the next regular payday following the termination of employment. If an employee is laid off or discharged, the final wages must be paid by the next regular payday. If an employee voluntarily resigns, the wages must be paid by the next regular payday or within one calendar month, whichever comes first.

Deductions and Withholding

Virginia law allows employers to make certain deductions from an employee’s paycheck, such as:

  • Taxes
  • Social Security
  • Medicare
  • Court-ordered deductions

However, unless required by law or authorized by the employee, employers cannot make any other deductions without explicit written consent.

Common Reasons for Withholding a Final Paycheck in Virginia

While employers generally must provide employees with their final paychecks punctually, there are limited circumstances in which withholding may be permitted. Some common reasons an employer may withhold a final paycheck in Virginia include:

  • Outstanding Debts: If an employee owes the employer money, such as for the cost of damaged company property, the employer may deduct these amounts from the final paycheck. However, deductions cannot be made for ordinary business expenses, losses due to theft, or losses due to employee negligence unless the employee willingly agreed to such deductions in writing.
  • Return of Company Property: Employers may withhold the final paycheck until all company property, such as uniforms, tools, or electronic devices, is returned by the employee.
  • Non-Compete Agreements: If an employee has signed a valid and enforceable non-compete agreement, the employer may withhold the final paycheck until the employee complies with the terms of the agreement, such as refraining from competing with the employer for a specified period.

Also, in certain cases, if there is a contractual agreement between the employer and the employee that allows for withholding or deductions under specific circumstances, the employer may withhold the final paycheck accordingly.

Seek Legal Recourse For a Withheld Final Paycheck in Virginia

If your employer wrongfully withholds your final paycheck or makes unauthorized deductions, you have legal options to pursue your unpaid wages. The employment law attorneys with The Spiggle Law Firm are ready to advocate for your rights and provide the legal guidance you need to get the justice you deserve. We can gather evidence necessary to support your claims, such as pay stubs, employment contracts, or any written communication related to your final paycheck.

The Spiggle Law Firm team aims to help people like you, fighting to recover the wages you have rightfully earned and preventing employers from taking advantage of their workforce. Schedule a consultation today by calling (202) 449-8527, or you may reach out to us online via our contact form.

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