What do I do if I am being wrongly accused of stealing from my job? 2 Answers as of January 06, 2011

I work at a pizza shop and the other day my boss called me in to his office and told me that he was going to record the conversation we were having. He then accused me of stealing $90. Sick of being acused of something I did not do, I said "I quit!" and my manager said "You can't quit, because I'm firing you!" He then said that he would call me the next day to let me know if I would be getting paid my last check. He is shady and has had many complaints for not paying employees or rent on time.
My questions are do they have the legal right to record my meeting? Should I show up Friday to collect my pay? Since I was not told what is happening, should I call the police and file a report against them for pressuring me to admit to something with no evidence? I am confused on what to do.

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Law Offices of John Carney
Law Offices of John Carney | John Carney
When an employer suspects that an employee has stolen money or property they will often call them into an office and ask them questions about the loss. They can record the conversation and you cannot complain about the interrogation or the recording. You can refuse to answer their questions, but that may cause them to fire you. If you are wrongly fired you may be able to sue an employer, but the have the right to record the conversation or ask you to sing a statement. They will ask others about the situation and see if what you say is inconsistent. They may tell you that if you simply admit the theft and return the money you will not be arrested or you will be able to keep your job, but this is usually a ploy to get you to admit what they already suspect. Your employer cannot withhold your wages unless you are working off the books, which is common. It is also a federal crime and tax evasion, but the government does not usually investigate or prosecute people who work off the books for small amounts like $500 a week. If you make a lot of money and you are not paying income taxes, you can go to prison on federal tax evasion charges. If your boss is falsely accusing you of stealing you may want to look for another job, he will probably fire you even if he cannot prove the charges. You should have remained calm and simply told him that you were innocent and would be happy to co-operate in his investigation (assuming you are innocent). This makes you look innocent and he may have been the end of the problem, but now that you have quit, you can ask for your job back with an apology or just use this as a reason to find more suitable employment.
Answer Applies to: New York
Replied: 1/6/2011
Edward  D. Dowling IV Attorney at Law
Edward D. Dowling IV Attorney at Law | Edward D. Dowling IV
First this response is general information only and does not establish an attorney client relationship. However in general as long as you were told the conversation is being record they can record it.

Regarding whether to show up Friday to collect your pay you stated he said he would call to let you know- I suggest waiting until Wed or Thursday and if he did not call you, you should call him to see f he intends to pay you. If he says no, you can file a complaint with the wage and hour division of the Department of labor and they will investigate. If he does not say yes or know then you may want to show up on Friday. Regarding caling the police- you may want to call them and see first if he is filing a complaint against you. If he did or does file then you should file against him for false report. if he does not fle a complaint against you, you may not want to file against him because that will probably cause him to file against you. Looking forward to hearing from you.
Answer Applies to: New York
Replied: 1/4/2011
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