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Collections Law/Question about former employer trying to bill me and send to collections


My former employer paid for countertops in my house as a bonus for working on a project. When I put my two weeks notice in, he told me he wanted me to pay him back for half the cost of the countertops, to which I replied "no" because they were a bonus I feel I worked hard for. In response to this he told me he would withhold the amounts from my paychecks. I contacted the department of labor and they told me this is illegal without my written consent. I informed my boss of this information and in response he terminated my employment and told me he would bill me in full for the price of the countertops. My question is can he do this and if I don't pay can he send me to collections? Is there anyway to dispute the bill if I do receive it? Or will my credit be ruined if he sends it to collections?
Thank you so much for your response.

Hello Jill:
You ask several questions and voice concerns about your credit, about getting sued, about whether he can fire you, etc.     I know it won't get your job back, but the situation you are facing may not be as bad as you are worrying about.    If your boss sues you there are ways to fight the lawsuit under these circumstances - and the effect that the lawsuit has on your credit may be minimized.    This would be much easier for me to explain to you in detail if you were to call me on the phone.   I will not charge you just to talk on the phone.   You can call me any time at this number.      Jack Hall, J.D. 915  261-3893

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