Former employer must pay your final paycheck promptly

Former employer must pay your final paycheck promptly

Q. Three weeks ago, I was fired from my job. My employer still has not given me my last paycheck. He says I will get it in about a month. Help.

A. The Texas Payday Law regulates the timing of when you must be paid your final check. If an employee is laid off, discharged, fired or otherwise involuntarily separated from employment, the final pay is due within six calendar days of discharge. If the employee quits, retires, resigns, or otherwise leaves employment voluntarily, the final pay is due on the next regularly scheduled payday following the effective date of resignation. I suggest you let your employer know you know your rights, and expect to be promptly paid.

For more information or to file a complaint, contact the Texas Workforce Commission at


Q. There is a local landscaper who maintains the yards on both sides of my house. He often blows the grass clippings onto my property and doesn’t clean the clippings up. I have nice river rock landscaping, and it is very hard to get the grass out of the rocks. I have spoken with the landscaper and the property owners about not blowing the clippings onto my property. What would be my next step in order to keep this from happening again?

A. As you seem to know, the landscaper has no right to do this. In fact, he is trespassing. I suggest you speak once again with both parties and let them know that you expect the landscaper will stop trespassing. If being neighborly does not work, you might want to let the landscaper know that if he does it again, you will hire someone to clean up your yard, and then file a claim in justice court to recover what it cost. Hopefully, once the landscaper realizes this could cost him time and money, he will find somewhere else for the clippings.


Q. Can I be arrested for not paying my credit card bill? A debt collector told me he was going to file a complaint with the sheriff and have a warrant issued for my arrest.

A. There is no debtor’s prison in the United States. If you don’t pay money you owe, you may be sued, but you cannot be put in jail. In fact, the threat to throw you in jail for not paying your bills violates both federal and state debt collection law. Violation of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, the federal law, allows the court to award punitive damages up to $1,000. For more information about what may happen if you don’t pay your bills, look at the debt collection section on my website,


Q. Three years ago, a credit card company filed a lawsuit against me, I answered the lawsuit. I heard nothing for over a year, until I received a notice of hearing on a motion for summary judgment. Isn’t there a four-year statute of limitations for lawsuits? Should this case now be dismissed?

A. The statute of limitation is the legal time-period within which a lawsuit must be filed. A lawsuit filed after the statute has run can be dismissed. For credit card lawsuits, the statute of limitation is four years. In your case, however, the lawsuit was filed well within the statutory time limit. The statute of limitations applies to the date the lawsuit is filed, not when it is finally resolved.


Q. I have a question about debt collection in the state of Texas. I was under the impression that as long as you are making any payment, you can’t be sued in Texas for outstanding medical bills. Have the laws changed or am I mistaken?

A. I am surprised by how many people think that medical bills are different from any other debt. The law has not changed, but you are mistaken. Debts arising from medical care are not treated differently from debts arising from any other obligation. Whether you owe a credit card bill or a doctor’s bill, the collection procedures are the same. Unless you have an agreement with the creditor that he will not sue as long as you make payments in a certain amount, the creditor has no obligation to accept less than the full amount and can sue, even if you make a small payment.


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