Legal Corner: How do I get my last check from an old job?

Legal Corner: How do I get my last check from an old job?
Jonathan and Agnes on the Legal Corner

Submit your questions to news@kplctv.com. Civil matters only, please.

QUESTION: “What can I do about a neighbor whose trash blows into our yard? They also pile up leaves and grass also blows in my yard.”

ANSWER: There appears to be several violations, so first question is: are you inside the city limits, or out?

If outside, you call the parish Code Enforcement, 337-721-3600, and file a complaint. An inspector will be dispatched to you and your neighbor’s property. You can also visit the website, “cppj.net” to view the statutes regarding lawn maintenance and classes of grass.

If inside the city limits, call the Property Standard department, or you can access them through their website, “cityoflakecharles.com” – find the permit section, and scroll to the Property Standards department. A slightly different procedure – the city will send a letter to the neighbor, giving them a chance to remedy. If not, the city will maintain the property and bill the owner.

As far as the blowing trash into your yard, that is littering and can be handled by any law enforcement agency with jurisdiction in your neighborhood.

QUESTION: My last job still owes me a check. It is under new management but the same owner. I’ve been calling the numbers off the old check stubs, but no one has ever called me back. How do I get my check, and can I sue them?”

ANSWER:

Title 23:632

§632. Liability of employer for failure to pay; attorney fees

Any employer who fails or refuses to comply with the provisions of R.S. 23:631 shall be liable to the employee either for ninety days wages at the employee's daily rate of pay, or else for full wages from the time the employee's demand for payment is made until the employer shall pay or tender the amount of unpaid wages due to such employee, whichever is the lesser amount of penalty wages. Reasonable attorney fees shall be allowed the laborer or employee by the court which shall be taxed as costs to be paid by the employer, in the event a well-founded suit for any unpaid wages whatsoever be filed by the laborer or employee after three days shall have elapsed from time of making the first demand following discharge or resignation.

Put in more common language – when a paycheck is owed a former employee, the employer must pay the amount owed as in a normal cycle. Failure to do so can result in penalties – either full pay from the time the employee demands it until payment, or 90 days’ pay, whichever is lesser. If forced to sue, the employee can also recover attorneys’ fees, a rarity in Louisiana law. However, before being entitled to the attorneys’ fees, 3 days must lapse since the initial demand was made.

QUESTION: “I am about to retire and want to start cast netting – do I need a fishing license for that? When does my age exempt me? Is last year’s license still good?”

ANSWER: Instead of telling you who needs a fishing license, it is easier to list who doesn’t – anyone less than 16 years of age, and anyone born before June 1, 1940 and has been in Louisiana at least 6 months.

Everyone else needs a fishing license, which includes anyone using:

  • Trot lines
  • Frog gigs
  • Cast nest – not to exceed 8 feet, 16 inches
  • Scuba Gear
  • Rod and reel

Don’t forget, if you are fishing south of the “saltwater line”, you have to purchase a saltwater license in addition to a Basic license. Licenses go on sale on June 1 and are valid through June 30 of the following year. For more licensing regulations, visit the Wildlife and Fisheries website: www.wlf.louisiana.gov

Disclaimer: The information furnished in this answer is general and may not apply to some situations. All legal situations are unique. No one should rely to their detriment on these answers. Anyone with a potential legal problem should seek the advice of a licensed attorney before taking any action or inaction. The answers provided are not intended to be specific legal advice and no attorney-client relationship is created between the SWLA Law Center and the viewers of KPLC-TV.

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