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Final Paycheck Laws by State

Final Paycheck Laws by State

Small-business owners have a thousand things to keep in mind while running a business. They may not be thinking about an employee's final paycheck. There are state and federal laws about when an employee must receive their last paycheck. Some state laws differ depending on whether you fired the employee or they quit.

You can ensure you're prepared to follow your state's final paycheck laws by making the state law part of your company policy handbook. Some states want the employee to give the employer advance notice if they plan to quit and want their final check before their regular payday. Giving them notice of the state labor laws helps everyone.

Some states don't have laws about the payment of final wages. These states follow the guidelines set by the U.S. Wage and Hour Division of the Department of Labor. The federal guidelines require payment on the next regular pay period after the employee leaves.

The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) gives former employees legal protections against employers who fail to obey state and federal minimum wage and final pay laws. Withholding an employee's wages is illegal unless the employee has consented to the withholding. There may be a lawful reason, such as taxes or a court order to garnish wages. Terminated employees can sue for unpaid wages if their final paycheck is not sent on time.

Final Paycheck Laws by State: Overview

This chart gives a list of state laws for paying terminated employees. It includes a link to the most recent state statutes. Some states have different payment requirements for layoffs, labor disputes, or part-time or temporary workers. Regulations may also differ for unused vacation days, sick time, and overtime payouts.

Note: Federal and state laws are subject to change. This chart is current as of the date of publication. New legislation, court decisions, and ballot initiatives can happen every day. Whenever possible, pay employees at the time of termination or consult an attorney to verify the current laws in your state.

 

Employee Was Fired

Employee Quits

Alabama

No law.

No law.

Alaska

Final check must be given within three working days after the termination.

Final check must be given on the next scheduled payday that is at least three days after the employee gives notice.

Arizona

Final check must be given within seven working days, or on the next scheduled payday, whichever occurs first.

Final check must be given on the next scheduled payday.

Arkansas

Final check must be given by the next regular payday.

No law.

California

Final check must be given immediately.

Final check must be given within 72 hours. However, if employee has given more than 72 hours' notice, final check must be given immediately.

Colorado

Final check must be given immediately. "Immediately" means within 6 hours of the start of the next working day if the payroll unit is closed when termination occurs, or within 24 hours if the payroll unit is offsite.

Final check must be given on the next scheduled payday.

Connecticut

Final check must be given on the next business day.

Final check must be given on the next scheduled payday.

Delaware

Final check must be given on the next scheduled payday.

Final check must be given on the next scheduled payday.

District of Columbia

Final check must be given on the next business day.

Final check must be given on the next scheduled payday, or within seven days, whichever occurs first.

Florida

No law.

No law.

Georgia

No law.

No law.

Hawaii

Final check must be given immediately, or on the next business day if there are conditions that prevent immediate payment.

Final check must be given on the next scheduled payday. However, if employee gave at least one pay period's notice, final check must be given immediately.

Idaho

Final check must be given on the next scheduled payday, or within 10 days, whichever occurs first. However, if employee makes a written request for earlier payment, within 48 hours of receiving the request.

Final check must be given on the next scheduled payday, or within 10 days, whichever occurs first. However, if employee makes a written request for earlier payment, within 48 hours of receiving the request.

Illinois

Final check must be given on the next scheduled payday.

Final check must be given on the next scheduled payday.

Indiana

Final check must be given on the next scheduled payday.

Final check must be given on the next scheduled payday. If the employee has not given a forwarding address, the employer must wait until 10 days after the employee demands wages or provides an address where the final check can be mailed.

Iowa

Final check must be given on the next scheduled payday.

Final check must be given on the next scheduled payday.

Kansas

Final check must be given on the next scheduled payday.

Final check must be given on the next scheduled payday.

Kentucky

Final check must be given on the next scheduled payday or within 14 days, whichever occurs later.

Final check must be given on the next scheduled payday, or within 14 days, whichever occurs later.

Louisiana

Final check must be given on the next scheduled payday, or within 15 days, whichever occurs earlier.

Final check must be given on the next scheduled payday, or within 15 days, whichever occurs earlier.

Maine

Final check must be given on the next scheduled payday or within two weeks after a demand from the employee, whichever is earlier.

Final check must be given on the next scheduled payday or within two weeks after a demand from the employee, whichever is earlier.

Maryland

Final check must be given on the next scheduled payday.

Final check must be given on the next scheduled payday.

Massachusetts

Final check must be given immediately.

Final check must be given on the next scheduled payday or on the Saturday that follows an employee's resignation if there is no scheduled payday.

Michigan

Final check must be given on the next scheduled payday.

Final check must be given on the next scheduled payday.

Minnesota

Final check must be given immediately.

Final check must be given on the next scheduled payday. However, if the payday is less than five days after the last day that the employee works, the employer must pay on the next payday or 20 days after the employee's last day of work, whichever is earlier.

Mississippi

No law.

No law.

Missouri

Final paycheck must be given immediately.

No law.

Montana

If employee is laid off or fired for cause, final paycheck must be given immediately. The employer has the option of maintaining a written policy that extends this time to the next scheduled payday or within 15 days, whichever is earlier.

Final paycheck must be given on the next scheduled payday or within 15 days, whichever is earlier.

Nebraska

Final check must be given on the next scheduled payday or within two weeks, whichever occurs first.

Final check must be given on the next scheduled payday or within two weeks, whichever occurs first.

Nevada

Final check must be given immediately.

Final check must be given on the next scheduled payday or within seven days, whichever occurs first.

New Hampshire

Final check must be given within 72 hours. However, if employee is laid off, final check may be given on the next scheduled payday.

Final check must be given on the next scheduled payday or within 72 hours (if the employee gave at least one pay period's notice).

New Jersey

Final check must be given on the next scheduled payday.

Final check must be given on the next scheduled payday.

New Mexico

Final check must be given within five days.

Final check must be given on the next scheduled payday.

New York

Final check must be given on the next scheduled payday.

Final check must be given on the next scheduled payday.

North Carolina

Final check must be given on the next scheduled payday.

Final check must be given on the next scheduled payday.

North Dakota

Final check must be given on the next scheduled payday .

Final check must be given on the next scheduled payday.

Ohio

No law.

Final check must be given on the first day of the month for wages that were earned in the first half of the prior month, or on the fifteenth day of the month for wages earned in the second half of the prior month.

Oklahoma

Final check must be given on the next scheduled payday.

Final check must be given on the next scheduled payday.

Oregon

Final check must be given by the end of the next business day.

Final check must be given immediately if the employee has given at least 48 hours' notice. If employee does not give notice, final check must be given within five days or the next scheduled payday, whichever occurs first.

Pennsylvania

Final check must be given on the next scheduled payday.

Final check must be given on the next scheduled payday.

Rhode Island

Final check must be given on the next scheduled payday.

Final check must be given on the next scheduled payday.

South Carolina

Final check must be given within 48 hours or on the next scheduled payday, but not more than 30 days.

Final check must be given within 48 hours or on the next scheduled payday, but not more than 30 days.

South Dakota

Final check must be given on the next scheduled payday or when the employee returns the company property.

Final check must be given on the next scheduled payday or when the employee returns the company property.

Tennessee

Final check must be given on the next scheduled payday or within 21 days, whichever is later.

Final check must be given on the next scheduled payday or within 21 days, whichever is later.

Texas

Final check must be given within six days.

Final check must be given on the next scheduled payday.

Utah

Final check must be given within 24 hours.

Final check must be given on the next scheduled payday.

Vermont

Final check must be given within 72 hours.

Final check must be given on the next scheduled payday, or on the next Friday if no payday is scheduled.

Virginia

Final check must be given on the next scheduled payday.

Final check must be given on the next scheduled payday.

Washington

Final check must be given on the next scheduled payday.

Final check must be given on the next scheduled payday.

West Virginia

Final check must be given for work that the employee performed prior to the separation of employment on or before the next regular payday on which the wages would otherwise be due and payable.

Final check must be given for work that the employee performed prior to the separation of employment on or before the next regular payday on which the wages would otherwise be due and payable.

Wisconsin

Final check must be given on the next scheduled payday or within one month, whichever occurs first. If the termination is a result of a merger, relocation or liquidation of the business, final check must be given within 24 hours.

Final check must be given on the next scheduled payday.

Wyoming

Final check must be given on the next regular payday.

Final check must be given on the next regular payday.

More Questions About State Final Paycheck Laws? Get Professional Legal Help Today

You and your human resources department should be familiar with your state laws and when to issue a final paycheck to a departing employee. Contact a local employment law attorney to learn about your rights and options for paying the last paycheck.

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