Final Paycheck Laws And Requirements

Rules For Final Paychecks

Learn Final Paycheck Laws By State

There are a number of states that require employers to give a departing employee his or her final paycheck within a specified time period. For instance, some states have final paycheck laws requiring that departing employees get their last paychecks on their final day of work. In other states, the time limit depends on whether the employee voluntarily quit or was fired.

As such, employers should be aware of the final paycheck laws in their state(s), as there are often penalties for violating the final paycheck laws. Bottom line...don't be caught unaware! Click your state name from the table below to find out the final paycheck laws by state and/or take one of our recommended training sessions on final paychecks.

Unclaimed And Final Paycheck Laws By State
New Hampshire
New Jersey
New Mexico
New York
North Carolina
North Dakota
Rhode Island
South Carolina
South Dakota
West Virginia

Training For Final Paycheck Requirements

Featured Course: Payroll Requirements For Terminated Employees

This training session helps payroll personnel to understand and properly comply with final paycheck laws and their obligations to properly pay - and abide by the plethora of laws affecting - terminated employees.

By attending this audio conference you will learn: final paycheck requirements
  • The timetable for how quickly your employees have to be paid in each state where you have workers
  • The payroll tax consequences of payments made to an employee as part of a severance or layoff
  • The difference between providing wage continuation versus lump sum severance
  • Whether severance can be used when determining the benefits an employee will receive from the Unemployment Office
  • How Supplemental Unemployment Benefit Plans be used to decrease the costs associated with severance payments
  • How wage continuation and lump sum severance payments affect unemployment insurance benefits.
  • Whether severance is taxable or non-taxable
  • How the new Stimulus Act effects the provision of COBRA to those employees that have been terminated
  • How to identify any areas of concern prior to an external audit or an audit by another group within your company
  • How a review can help you detect internal control issues
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More About Final Paycheck Laws And Requirements

When Should The Final Paycheck Be Paid?

The answer to when should the last pay check be given is 'it depends'. Most states have laws mandating how soon a departing employee must receive his or her last pay check. In some, the final paycheck must be given at the time of termination; in others, employers have more flexibility with regard to the timeliness of giving the last pay check.

But even in those states that lack such laws, federal law requires employers to issue a departing employee's final paycheck on or before the regular payday for the last pay period.

That said, the DOL's website states that if the regular payday for the last pay period an employee worked has passed and the employee has not been paid, employers should contact the Department of Labor's Wage and Hour Division or your state's labor department.

What Should Be Included In A Final Paycheck

The final paycheck should contain the employee's regular wages from the most recent pay period, plus other types of compensation such as commissions, bonuses, and accrued sick and vacation pay. Employers can withhold money from the employee's last paycheck if the employee owes your organization.

Can An Employer Withhold A Final Paycheck?

Generally speaking, an employer might be able to deduct the cost of the equipment from the final pay of non-exempt employees, but employers cannot withhold a terminated employee's paycheck until equipment is returned.

How To Send The Final Paycheck

Depending on the individual state's rules, the final paycheck can be paid via check, direct deposit (if an employee previously authorized direct deposit for wages), payroll paycard, or mailed.

Employers generally are not obligated to pay a terminated employee via direct deposit on his or her final paycheck. However, as stated above, some states require the final paycheck be given on the day of termination, so employers should make sure its final paycheck proceess includes the when and where to terminate employment.

Can A Final Paycheck Be Paid Via Direct Deposit?

Various states have requirements re how - and when - an employer must pay final wages. For instance, many states allow employers to pay final wages via direct deposit if an employee previously authorized direct deposit for wages, but these states often have rules regarding the timing of such payments. As such, definitely check your state's requirements.

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