I signed an employment contract back in September 2014, after signing it my employer explained that we were not allowed to have copies of our own but we could take a look at it whenever under supervision. June 2014 I have requested one via email and they have refused to give me a copy but say I owe them money for breaking the contract. Is this legal for them to deny me a copy? This is in the state of Texas.
I am not a lawyer nor have any specific knowledge of Texas employment laws, but a reference to this newsletter indicates that they are not required by any law (in Texas) to provide you with or even allow you to view the contract again as part of your personnel file. The relevant section is the first Q/A in the "Mailbag" section of the article:
The short answer is no, not if her job was located in Texas and if you’re a private (not government) employer. Under Texas law, personnel files are employers’ property and employees have no legal right to either see them or copy them. That is not true in a number of other states, or if the employer is a governmental employer.
Given that this is a Q/A rather than a legal document, it would still behoove you to retain legal counsel. However, if they intend to collect any debt from you or pursue any action against you, they will have to provide basis for it and evidence to that fact which will mean supplying a copy of the contract in question.
I am not a lawyer, but my wife is a paralegal, and I thus know some of the mechanics of the courts.
This is not legal advice, and I do encourage you to engage a lawyer.
If you told them that you did not believe you owed them money, and that they should take you to court to collect it, or if you took them to court over unpaid wages, the company would have to produce that contract to the court as part of their case. Your attorney (and thus you) are provided a copy of all filings.
However, anyone who won't give you a copy of your contract is not someone you want to do business with. Run. Run and don't look back.