A person who is leaving a place of employment, either because of a termination or resignation, expects that they will receive their pay for the hours worked through their last day. While some employers might try to avoid having to pay those workers, there are laws that require them to make the payment to the former employee.
Federal law doesn’t require immediate payment of those hours. Workers are encouraged to report instances in which the worker hasn’t received that final paycheck on the appropriate payment date.
State laws vary greatly about when an employer has to give an employee their final paycheck. Some states, such as Georgia, Mississippi, Alabama and Florida don’t have specific laws about final paychecks.
What do state laws say?
Some states simply say that the employee has to be given their final paycheck on the next regular payday regardless of the reason they’re leaving. These states include Pennsylvania, New York, New Jersey, North Carolina, Illinois, Michigan and Connecticut.
Other states have different laws based on the reason the employee isn’t with the company any longer. For example, California requires immediate payment of the final check if the employee is terminated or quits with a 72-hour notice. If there isn’t a 72-hour notice, the employer has 72 hours to produce the final paycheck for the worker.
Any worker who believes they haven’t been given their final paycheck in accordance with the applicable laws should ensure they seek out assistance. This must be done swiftly. Working with someone who’s familiar with the federal laws governing the situation, as well as the state laws, is critical so you know you’re basing your claims correctly.