Somerset, NJ asked in Employment Law for New Jersey

Q: Am I obligated to perform work for an ex-employer that they say I left unfinished?

I left my previous employer about a month ago, amid extreme frustration with the 55-hour workload we were expected to shoehorn into 40 hours and work culture that gave zero useful feedback. Still, before I left, I did my best to make sure I was leaving no loose ends for my co-workers. It was a good-faith effort, and I left with a clean conscience.

Still, I recently got a call from this previous employer claiming I had left incomplete some paperwork dating to January and earlier, and they expressed an expectation I would take care of these now.

My feeling is that if there is any paperwork I failed to complete, the time to address it was when it was due, or at least before I clocked out on my last day — not three or four weeks later.

What am I obligated to do for them at this point? What can they reasonably ask? If I can and do take care of this paperwork at this late date, am I entitled to compensation as a contractor?

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1 Lawyer Answer
Paula M. Dillon
Paula M. Dillon
  • Hackensack, NJ
  • Licensed in New Jersey

A: You are not obligated to do anything further based on the information you have provided. If they want to pay you to complete something, and you want to do it, then that is fine. Otherwise, they can't force you to work without compensating you.

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