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They quit and their employer withheld their last paycheck

Calling out their employer's bad management, this employee demanded their last paycheck. After a heated email exchange, finally, they received it.

They quit and their employer withheld their last paycheck
Image Source: OneSpookyPotato / Reddit

Across the United States, businesses are struggling to find employees who are willing to work for them in exploitative conditions (from poor work environments to low wages). It appears that fewer and fewer people are ready to tolerate pre-pandemic labor arrangements. Reddit user OneSpookyPotato is one of them. After they quit their job, their employer retaliated by withholding their last paycheck. Confronting their boss, they argued that they deserved their pay. Instead of recognizing where she went wrong, their manager Lindsey simply wrote a passive aggressive email in response and claimed she would transfer their last paycheck, Bored Panda reports.


The Reddit user shared on the forum Anti-work, "I quit my job two weeks ago and they reversed my final direct deposit paycheck without notifying me in retaliation." When the employee recognized that this was the case, they decided to leave a voicemail for their manager. In response, she sent them an accusatory email void of empathy. "Speaking of notification: You weren't concerned about providing us with a two-week notification, as is standard with employment, when you let us know within a couple of hours of your shift that you were quitting without any consideration of your coworkers," they began. "You did not return company property: keys and shirts (since you worked less than three months)."


She concluded, "We paid you for hours of at-home, remote training and two weeks of training in the spa, only for you to quit two weeks after that. Within those two weeks, you had two call-outs. A complete waste of time and money for the business. If anything, you owe us money." The employee, obviously angered by her email, retorted with a long description of what their time at the business was like. They pointed out that they were one of six employees to quit since August this year without notice. "This isn't a 'me' problem," they affirmed. "Lindsey, maybe stop blaming all your wage slave employees for once."

They went on to clarify that they had been ill with a kidney infection, which is why they took time off. They added that this was why they did not return the property and that they were not informed prior that their last paycheck would be contingent on the return of these items. The employee stated, "I thought with you being a 'nurse' that maybe you'd have some compassion but some things are more clear to me now." Lastly, they affirmed that employees should be paid for time spent in training. "Yes, training is PAID," they asserted. "Whether from home or in person, you are required to pay all your employees for the hours they work. I owe you nothing." They concluded that withholding an employee's wages is illegal in their state and that they would be filing a complaint with their State Department of Commerce.


Ultimately, the employer decided to pay the owed wages as she had "no energy or time to fight this." According to  Eddy Ng, the Smith Professor of Equity & Inclusion at Queen’s University, this was an example of bad leadership and management. "Transactional leadership is based on exercising bureaucratic authority and legitimate power in the firm. In the case of the manager withholding pay (although illegal), that is definitely a transactional style of leadership, relying on rewards and punishments to influence behaviors," he said, suggesting that employers move towards transformational leadership. "In this regard, transformational leaders provide support and encouragement to employees. They tend to influence employee behaviors by positively motivating them. Good managers tend to practice a transformational style of leadership."


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