Employee Shares Perfect Comeback After Bosses Try to Withhold Pay for Finishing Early

A disgruntled employee shared a letter they claimed their boss sent to staff, threatening to withhold their pay if they clocked out early.

Redditor ClayShooter262 uploaded the letter posted to workers on Wednesday—along with their response.

They captioned the images: "My job threatened to withhold my paycheck to ensure no one left early; I responded accordingly."

The initial letter, alleged to be from the management of an unnamed company, said: "Attention all employees.

"You are only allowed to clock in five minutes early. Closers: You know that our store closes at 11pm.

"If you clock out anytime before 11pm, I will not be approving payroll and will send it to home office and you can explain why you didn't follow store expectations."

The note was simply signed "management." It was typed out, with the headline highlighted in pink, while some words were in capital letters, while others were in bold font.

Unhappy with the threat, the staff member responded with their own letter, which was also typed out.

It said: "To whom it may concern, withholding pay without a legal mandate and / or with the intent to punish employees is illegal under the United States Fair Labor Standards Act.

"As an employee, I am fully aware of the standards and expectations set by this company and I ensure that they are followed precisely. With that, I am also aware of my rights as an employee, and would expect that they would be acknowledged, and not threatened.

"Given the wording in the note to the left, it can be reasonably deducted that if one of my paychecks has been withheld and / or not deposited that it has been done with the intent to punish.

"If this becomes the case, a complaint with the Wage and Hour division of the U.S. Department of Labor will be in order. I hope that the author of the aforementioned note was simply ignorant, and will continue to follow expectations set forth by the law."

Remote file
This image, which was posted to Reddit, is a photo of the letter telling staff that payroll wouldn't be approved if they left early.

They simply signed off as "an employee," hiding their identity, possibly out of fear of retribution.

The exchange has caused a stir on the site, amassing 66,000 votes on Reddit, as well as more than 2,000 comments.

Many people felt taking the step of legal action would result in an unfavourable position for the plaintiff, no matter the outcome.

Saranightfire1 commented: "Guys, it's not the case of whether you're right or wrong. It's the fact you sued a company for something."

Scemt theorized: "End up on a Google search for your name and have a difficult time finding a job after."

Although ThaddeusJP said: I would have skipped the note and filed a complaint with the state's labor board.

While Th3M0D3RaT0R reckoned: "My state labor board tells you to get a lawyer and sue for lost wages. They don't do anything for you."

"A lot of managers have no clue what their employees' rights are," Whitefang22 commented.

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This is a photo of the letter a disgruntled employee uploaded to Reddit after receiving the warning on their paycheck.

While Kjimbro added: "Honestly, I would be surprised if the employer weren't trying desperately to figure out who wrote this response so they can feign a reason to fire them."

Speaking to The Balance Small Business, business law and taxes expert Jean Murray, PhD, said: "An employer cannot withhold a portion of an employee's wages without their consent, except for withholdings required by law (FICA taxes, for example). Make sure you have a record of employee agreement for all pay non-required deductions in case of an audit.

"An employer cannot withhold pay as punishment; if an employee violates company policy and leaves on bad terms, they are still owed their full paycheck."

The Department of Labor stated: "In general, an employer must pay covered non-exempt employees the full minimum wage and any statutory overtime due on the regularly scheduled pay day for the workweek in question. Failure to do so constitutes a violation of the FLSA (Fair Labor Standards Act)."

Newsweek reached out to ClayShooter262 for comment.

File photo of a paycheck.
File photo of a someone receiving a paycheck. A worker shared a note left for staff threatening to withhold their wages if they left early. AndreyPopov/Getty Images