When an employment relationship ends, employers must know the legal requirements surrounding the employee’s final paycheck. Some state laws differ depending on whether the employee quit or was fired or laid off. For example, California final paycheck law requires payment of wages within 72 hours or immediately if the employee gave at least 72 hours’ notice. If the employee was terminated, payment is required immediately, and the employee can file a wage claim for every day they don’t receive a check after 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.
To help employers, we’ve created this chart of state laws 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||Within 7 working days (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 every day 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 or next scheduled payday, depending on date of final notice||Immediately or next business day if conditions warrant|
|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||Whichever is first: next scheduled payday or the Saturday that follows an employee’s resignation if there is no regularly scheduled pay date||Immediately|
|Michigan||Next scheduled payday||Next payday (some industry exceptions)|
|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|
|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||Within 72 hours|
|New Jersey||Next scheduled payday||Next scheduled payday|
|New Mexico||Next scheduled payday (task, piece and commission wages due within 10 days)||Next scheduled payday (task, piece and commission wages due within 10 days)|
|New York||Next scheduled payday||Next scheduled payday|
|North Carolina||Next scheduled payday||Next scheduled payday|
|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||Next scheduled payday|
|Oregon||Immediately if the employee gave 48 hours’ notice, otherwise within 5 days||Next business day|
|Pennsylvania||Next scheduled payday||Next scheduled payday|
|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 when employee returns company property||Next scheduled payday or when employee returns company property|
|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 next Friday||Within 72 hours|
|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 employer have to send 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 for 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.
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.