If you have found yourself to be in a particular troublesome situation where your former employer refuses to give you your last paycheck in Virginia, you should have no fear because the law is on your side. Oftentimes employers have been known to hold paychecks, of employees, hostage because they feel you have done some sort of wrong to the company in which they represent. In some cases, you may have been fired because your employer has suspected you of stealing from the company. The range and depth of potential reasons for firing can go on almost to no end, however, the reason for firing isn't quite as important as at least obtaining your witheld paycheck, at least in context of this InfoBarrel article.
It is important to realize that, regardless of how you were fired or let-go, in most states it is absolutely illegal for an employer to withold a paycheck of an employee. In fact, most states require any pay owed and unspent vacation time to be paid to you within 72 hours of being fired or terminated. Oftentimes, an employer may withold a paycheck simply out of spite, especially if your particular predicament revolved around a firing associated with an action that negatively impacted the company in some way or manner.
If your employer believes that they are completely within their rights to withold your paycheck owed, they aren't entirely correct. While they may receive little repurcusion at least initially, oftentimes acquiring what is owed to you requires a bit of a process that you must be proactive in. When executing this process to recoup the last paycheck owed to you, you should first begin by contacting your former employer directly if you have not yet done so. Even though they should have paid you, it may have been very possible that a flaw in the system caused an error in payment. In this case, it is important that you first write a tactful, professional, and formal letter in order to first request your unpaid earnings paycheck to be sent or delivered to you. You should be sure to send this letter through certified mail.
If writing a formal letter to your employer does not work, you may need to escalate your level of proactiveness by filing a formal complaint with the labor board. Dependent upon the state of this predicament and occurence, your local labor board may also be called the department of industrial relations or the department of labor relations. These names are all oftentimes interchangeable. Oftentimes, you may have to be granted permission to sue your former company and employer, from your local labor board. In the event that there is no other remedy to acquiring your last paycheck, you may have no other choice but to take the case to small claims court. In order to mount the best possible case in your favor, it is important that you gather as much evidence as possible. Your evidence should be well-organized, and it should present a strong case in your favor.