Once upon a time, it was the norm for employees to stay with their employer for decades, oftentimes retiring from the same business at which they started their career. Today, however, employees are more transient, bouncing from job to job at various companies throughout their work life. As such, receiving a final paycheck from an employer is becoming commonplace.
As an employer, it’s important to know the legal requirements surrounding an employee’s final check. Some states have differentiating laws depending on whether the employee quit or was terminated. 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.
Below is a list of state laws outlining when a final paycheck must be delivered depending on whether the employee quit or was fired. Be sure to double check with your state’s department of labor for any updates or changes to final paycheck laws.
|State||If the Employee Quit||If You Fired the Employee|
|Alabama||There's no law.||There's no law.|
|Alaska||Next scheduled payday that's at least 3 days after the employee gives notice.||Within 7 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.|
|California||Within 72 hours.||Immediately.|
|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||There's no law.||There's no law.|
|Georgia||There's no law.||There's 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 makes a written request for earlier payment, within 48 hours of receiving the request.||Whichever is first: within 10 days or next payday. If employee makes a written request for earlier payment, within 48 hours of receiving the request.|
|Illinois||Next scheduled payday.||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 a demand from the employee.||Whichever is first: next scheduled payday or within 2 weeks of a demand from the employee.|
|Maryland||Next scheduled payday.||Next scheduled payday.|
|Massachusetts||Whichever is first: next paycheck or the Saturday that follows an employee's resignation.||Immediately.|
|Michigan||Next scheduled payday.||Next scheduled payday.|
|Minnesota||Next payday that's at least 5 days after an employee's last day but no more than 20 days after final day.||Immediately.|
|Mississippi||There's no law.||There's no law.|
|Missouri||There's no law.||Immediately|
|Montana||Whichever is first: next scheduled payday or within 15 days.||Immediately, but employer can maintain a written policy that extends this time to the next payday or within 15 days.|
|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.||Immediately.|
|New Hampshire||Next scheduled payday or within 72 hours (if employee gave at least one pay period's notice).||Within 72 hours.|
|New Jersey||Next scheduled payday.||Next scheduled payday.|
|New Mexico||Next scheduled payday.||Within 5 days.|
|New York||Next scheduled payday.||Next scheduled payday.|
|North Carolina||Next scheduled payday.||Next scheduled payday.|
|North Dakota||Next scheduled payday.||Whichever is first: next scheduled payday or within 15 days.|
|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||There's no law.||Whichever is first: within 48 hours or next scheduled payday|
|South Dakota||Next scheduled payday or when employee returns company property.||Next scheduled payday or when employee returns company property.|
|Tennessee||Within 21 days.||Within 21 days.|
|Texas||Next scheduled payday.||Within 6 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.||Whichever is first: next scheduled payday or within one month.|
|Wyoming||Within 5 business days.||Within 5 business days.|
Can an Employer Withhold a Final Paycheck?
Even if you fire an employee, you cannot withhold unpaid wages he or she is due. Nor can you make a final paycheck conditional. Failure to follow your state’s final paycheck laws can lead to penalties and fines.
More than 30,000 medium-sized and small businesses trust Paycor to help them manage their most valuable asset – their people. Paycor is known for delivering modern, intuitive recruiting, HR and payroll software, but what distinguishes us is our singular focus on helping business leaders, entrepreneurs and HR professionals make a real difference in their organizations. Contact our team today to learn how we can help you make an impact in your organization.
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.
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