I was terminated on April 27, 2012. My employer withheld my last paycheck and did not explain to me why. A month later, I received a civil lawsuit accusing me (and several others) of embezzling 1.4 million from the company.
I never pursued that final paycheck. But when I received my W-2 this year, it included those wages they never paid me.
I gave them a chance to send me a corrected W-2 showing the wages they paid, or in lieu, offered to allow them to pay me now. They failed to respond, so I filed a claim with the Dept. of Labor.
I now have a hearing tomorrow and the Commissioner told me she received a large legal package from my employer, and she is considering just letting this play out in the civil lawsuit. However, the civil claim has no bearing on the paycheck. They did not deduct it from the amount they requested....
What should I do for the hearing?
3 Answers from Attorneys
Explain to the Commissioner that you have not filed a cross-claim against your employer for the amount of your final paycheck, and ask that the hearing proceed.
Note, however, that it may make sense for you to file a cross-claim in that lawsuit for the amount you are owed, including penalties.
Retain counsel immediately to help you. If you appear at the Labor Commissioner hearing and are asked questions about the allegation of embezzlement, you may hurt your defense of that case.
Prepare for it and present your claim. If you don't know how to do so, seek a continuance and hire an attorney to appear later.
More importantly, if you are still a defendant in the civil case, if you don't know how to represent yourself effectively against an experienced attorney intending to win a judgment against you, then hire an attorney who does.
If serious about hiring counsel to help in this, and if this is in SoCal courts, feel free to contact me.