My boss refused to send me my final paycheck after I quit my job

Tracey Folly

*This is a work of nonfiction based on actual events I experienced firsthand; used with permission.

I loved working at my last full-time job, and I was there for several years. However, things were becoming tense between me and my boss, so I gave him my two weeks' notice.

I thought everything would be fine. After all, I had been with the company for a long time. I didn't even ask for a letter of recommendation or anything like that because I didn't want to be a bother. Plus, we were going through some changes at work that made me feel like it was time for me to move on, anyway.

My boss was annoyed when I gave him my two weeks' notice and told me to just leave immediately because he didn't want to deal with me anymore. I don't know why my boss didn't want to hear about the situation or why I was leaving in the first place; perhaps he was in a hurry or simply not interested in hearing my side of things.

His last words to me were, "Don't bother coming back for your final paycheck. I'll have the bookkeeper mail it to you."

I waited and waited, but my last paycheck never arrived in my mailbox.

A couple of weeks after I left the company for good, I realized my savings were going to run out sooner than I expected. I got another job at a different company, but my starting date was a full month away. I needed my final paycheck.

I contacted my old boss, but he wouldn't even talk to me. So I left him a friendly and respectful message to remind him about the money he still owed me.

His bookkeeper sent me an email saying he'd cut me a check for half the money they owed me and that he would send it right away. He also said I should be grateful for this offer, but the idea of getting half of what I was owed did not impress me. I accepted the offer anyway because at least now I had some money coming my way.

They are still refusing to pay me everything they owe me.

This is the kind of thing that makes you want to give up on trust in humanity. It's hard to believe that businesses treat employees this way. It's especially hard when you've been working at the same place for a long time, have built up goodwill and trust, and have always done your job well.

To be honest, I never want to work for another company that treats employees like this.

Hopefully, this story will serve as a cautionary tale for anyone who works for business owners who don’t respect their employees or treat them fairly. What would you have done in my shoes? Comments are welcome.

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Writing about relationships online since 2009.

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