Former employee is upset over unpaid wages - NBC12 - WWBT - Richmond, VA News On Your Side

Former employee is upset over unpaid wages

Michel'le Stewart (Source: NBC12) Michel'le Stewart (Source: NBC12)
(WWBT) -

A Richmond young professional turns to 12 On Your Side for help getting $1,100 that's owed to her.

Weeks after leaving her job at a counseling service, Michel'le Stewart says the company has yet to pay her final wages. She hasn't had any luck in trying to reach the business.  

On Tuesday, NBC12 reached out to Associated Educational Services of Virginia by phone and also went there in person but we still have not been able to talk with the owner.

Stewart was a crisis counselor at the alternative school. She says she's missing three paychecks. 

The Virginia Payment of Wage Act is clear. It prohibits employers from withholding pay after a termination. In this case, Stewart says she resigned because she found a better opportunity.  Her last day was Aug. 29.

"I was supposed to be paid on the 8th, the 15th, and the 22nd. So, We're going into October, so it will be about a month with no funds," said Stewart.

Stewart says it's bad enough having to take from her savings to live, but the worst part is no response from her former employer, despite numerous text messages, emails and phone calls where she talks about not receiving her final paychecks.

She says, "If I had no savings account. I don't know [what] would have occurred. Where I would be. They left me in a position that could have turned very ugly if I would not have prepared for a rainy day."

Generally, employers are supposed to pay an employee his or her final paychecks by the next pay period. 

"I completed my exit interview as requested. During the exit interview, I turned in all the documentation, and I turned in my keys and the badge to buzz me in. So I turned in everything," Stewart said.

We went to Stewart's former employer on Tuesday afternoon, and the receptionist stopped us at door.

There was a brief exchange with the reception, who said she didn’t know what was going on but promised she would inform the owner of our visit and have him call NBC12. We still have not received a call back from Associated Educational Services of Virginia. 

We called the Virginia Department of Labor, and it says it takes seven to 10 days to process a claim. They will look into it when they get Stewart's complaint.

"I don't want anything more than what I worked for what I'm owed," said Stewart.

Stewart also filed a complaint with the Virginia Department of Labor. We will let you know how it's resolved. 

In the meantime, if you have a similar complaint, call the Virginia Department of Labor at 804-786-2706.

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