The difference between whether an employee quits or is fired can have a big impact on how much money is due to them at the end of the employment relationship, which is why it’s vital for the employer to know the legal requirements for final paychecks in each state.
For example, California’s final paycheck law requires payment of wages within 72 hours or immediately if the employee gave at least 72 hours’ notice. If the employee is discharged in California, then the law requires all employers to provide any and all compensation due at the time of separation. The employee can file a wage claim for every day they don’t receive a check after the time of separation.
Regardless, the final check should contain the employee’s regular pay from the most recent pay period along with any additional types of compensation such as accrued PTO or a bonus if your state law and/or company policy requires it.
With so many state laws pertaining to when an employee’s final paycheck must be given, it can get tricky for employers. This chart breaks down the varying timelines in each U.S. state outlining when a final paycheck must be delivered. We will keep this table regularly updated, but be sure to double-check with your state’s department of labor in case the laws have changed.
|State||If the Employee Quit||If You Fired the Employee|
|Alabama||No law||No law|
|Alaska||Next scheduled payday that’s at least 3 days after the employee gives notice||Within 3 working days of termination|
|Arizona||Next scheduled payday||Whichever is first: within 7 working days or next payday|
|Arkansas||Next scheduled payday||Next scheduled payday, or within 7 working days if the employee demands it. (employer will owe 2X the wages if not paid within 7 days)|
|California||Within 72 hours or immediately if the employee gave at least 72 hours’ notice||Immediately (employees can recover penalties for everyday wages are withheld)|
|Colorado||Next scheduled payday||Immediately|
|Connecticut||Next scheduled payday||Next business day|
|Delaware||Next scheduled payday||Next scheduled payday|
|District of Columbia||Whichever is first: within 7 days or next payday||Next business day|
|Florida||No law||No law|
|Georgia||No law||No law|
|Hawaii||Immediately if employee gives one pay period notice, or scheduled payday||Immediately or next business day|
|Idaho||Whichever is first: within 10 days or next payday. If employee provides a written request for earlier payment, within 48 hours of receiving the request.||Whichever is first: within 10 days or next payday. If employee provides a written request for earlier payment, within 48 hours of receiving the request.|
|Illinois||Immediately if possible but no later than next scheduled payday||Immediately if possible but no later than next scheduled payday|
|Indiana||Next scheduled payday||Next scheduled payday|
|Iowa||Next scheduled payday||Next scheduled payday|
|Kansas||Next scheduled payday||Next scheduled payday|
|Kentucky||Whichever is later: within 14 days or next scheduled payday||Whichever is later: within 14 days or next scheduled payday|
|Louisiana||Whichever is first: next scheduled payday or within 15 days||Whichever is first: next scheduled payday or within 15 days|
|Maine||Whichever is first: next scheduled payday or within 2 weeks of employee’s demand||Whichever is first: next scheduled payday or within 2 weeks of employee’s demand|
|Maryland||Next scheduled payday||Next scheduled payday|
|Massachusetts||Next scheduled payday||Immediately|
|Michigan||All wages earned are due as soon as the amount can be determined||All wages earned are due as soon as the amount can be determined|
|Minnesota||Next payday that’s at least 5 days after an employee’s last day but no more than 20 days after the last day worked.||Within 24 hours of demand|
|Mississippi||No law||No law|
|Montana||Whichever is first: next scheduled payday or within 15 days||Immediately (within 4 hours or the end of the same business day)|
|Nebraska||Whichever is first: next scheduled payday or within two weeks||Whichever is first: next scheduled payday or within two weeks|
|Nevada||Whichever is first: within 7 days or next payday||Within 3 days|
|New Hampshire||Next scheduled payday, or within 72 hours if the employee gives one period pay notice||Within 72 hours|
|New Jersey||Next scheduled payday||Next scheduled payday|
|New Mexico||Next scheduled payday||Next scheduled payday (task, piece and commission wages due within 10 days). If wages are a fixed amount, then they are due within 5 days of termination.|
|New York||Next scheduled payday||Next scheduled payday|
|North Carolina||Next scheduled payday, or before. Either by regular way wages are paid, or by mail. Employee’s decision.||Next scheduled payday, or before. Either by regular way wages are paid, or by mail. Employee’s decision.|
|North Dakota||Next scheduled payday||Next scheduled payday|
|Ohio||Whichever is first: next scheduled payday or within 15 days||Whichever is first: next scheduled payday or within 15 days|
|Oklahoma||Next scheduled payday, or within 14 days, whichever is later||Next scheduled payday, or within 14 days, whichever is later|
|Oregon||Immediately if the employee gave 48 hours’ notice, otherwise within 5 days, or the next payday – whichever comes first||By the end of the next business day|
|Pennsylvania||Next scheduled payday (If the employee requests the final check to be mailed, then the company is required to do so).||Next scheduled payday (If the employee requests the final check to be mailed, then the company is required to do so).|
|Rhode Island||Next scheduled payday||Next scheduled payday|
|South Carolina||Within 48 hours or next scheduled payday not to exceed 30 days||Within 48 hours or next scheduled payday not to exceed 30 days|
|South Dakota||Next scheduled payday, or the employer can hold the final pay until company property is returned.||Next scheduled payday, or the employer can hold the final pay until company property is returned.|
|Tennessee||Within 21 days or the next regular payday whichever occurs later||Within 21 days or the next regular payday whichever occurs later|
|Texas||Next scheduled payday||Within 6 calendar days|
|Utah||Next scheduled payday||Within 24 hours|
|Vermont||Whichever is first: next scheduled payday or if there is no regular payday, then the next Friday.||Within 72 hours from the time of discharge|
|Virginia||Next scheduled payday||Next scheduled payday|
|Washington||Next scheduled payday||Next scheduled payday|
|West Virginia||Next scheduled payday||Next scheduled payday|
|Wisconsin||Next scheduled payday||Next scheduled payday|
|Wyoming||Next scheduled payday||Next scheduled payday|
Can an Employer Withhold a Final Paycheck?
Even if you fire an employee, you cannot withhold unpaid wages due, nor can you make a final paycheck conditional. Failure to follow your state’s final paycheck laws can lead to penalties and fines if the employee takes legal action.
What is the Wage Payment and Collection Act?
While there is no federal law that requires employers to pay in a timely fashion; employees who quit, are laid off, or fired, many states have their own wage payment and collections acts.
How long does an employer have to send a final check?
Some states have no law that requires a business to provide final wages in a certain timeframe, but most states do. The issue of payment of wages depends on whether the employee quit or was involuntarily terminated. The most widely followed procedure is for wages to be mailed or sent by direct deposit by the next scheduled payday, or immediately upon termination.
When should an employee receive their final pay?
Employees can receive their final pay anywhere from immediately to the next scheduled payday depending on the state and situation.
How Paycor Can Help
Staying up to date on compliance rules can be cumbersome. Compliance management is more important than ever, and Paycor can help.
For more inspiration and best practices on compliance management, visit our HR compliance solutions site.
Paycor is not a legal, tax, benefit, accounting, or investment advisor. All communication from Paycor should be confirmed by your company’s legal, tax, benefit, accounting, or investment advisor before making any decisions.