The company denied the man his deposit after he quit. Then, the Labor Department stepped in to help.
In today's job market, we see a concerning trend of many establishments flouting regulations and seizing the opportunity to take advantage of departing employees. Examples of this include withholding rightful dues such as deposits, unpaid wages, or benefits, leaving former employees in a state of uncertainty and financial strain. An employee shared his own story on Reddit, which involved the company refusing to return his deposit. The employee talks about how he started working at a second job on a part-time basis to get additional income. As part of the company's policy, they deduct $100 from an employee's first salary and hold it as a "uniform deposit."
After working there for some time, the author finds a better position that has double the salary. He wrote: "I worked until my last scheduled day and then sent my manager a resignation email before she created the next month's schedule." Afterward, the employee turned in all his equipment and uniforms to the manager. Soon after, the employee received a mail informing that the company gets to keep the aforementioned deposit as he did not give a "proper 2-week notice" before resigning.
Wanting to get the deposit back, the employee submits a complaint with the State Department of Labor. They informed the employee that the employer could not keep the deposit and it was wrong for them to withhold any amount from his wage to be used as a deposit. The author ends the post by expressing hope that the employer will return his hard-earned money.
Users on the platform expressed their own insights in the comments section. u/Vapordude420 commented, "You can also talk to a local plaintiff's employment lawyer, who may be willing to help. These cases are almost always on contingency, so no fee until you win and the consultation is almost always free." Curious to know what happens, u/fatwoul commented, "Looking forward to updates, if you are able to provide any."
To this, the author replied, "Will do; I'm pretty impressed with the state DOL so far. I think my complaint was answered within 48 hours and I've spoken to her twice today. She's already spoken to them and asked for payroll records. The investigator said she sees this issue all the time. She said it wouldn't even matter if I didn't turn anything in at all. If a company wants to try to recover money from an employee, they have to pursue it through the courts, not by withholding wages."
u/Deep-Lingonberyy4568 suggested, "Just respond to the owner saying that you're fine losing the 100 bucks for uniform deposit the Department of Labor can sort it out. Expect them to be in touch." Since the employee did not exactly detail the company policy that required them to retain the deposit in the event that an employee abruptly leaves, users were also curious if the author signed paperwork consenting to it. u/Zakkan pointed out, "Unless you signed a document agreeing to this, and your state allows that practice, they are ripe to go after via the labor department."