Chart: Final Paychecks for Departing Employees

Learn your state's law on when you have to provide a departing employee with the final paycheck.

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Most states require employers to give departing employees their final paychecks in fairly short order -- sometimes on their last day of work. In some states, these time limits vary depending on whether the employee quit or was fired. Some states require employers to pay out accrued, unused vacation days with the final paycheck; the chart below does not include these vacation pay rules.

Many employers break these laws out of ignorance. They assume that paying the employee on the usual payroll schedule is sufficient. But violating these laws -- even unwittingly -- can be costly. In some states, if an employer fails to pay a departing employee within the legal time limits, the employer may have to pay additional penalties, interest, and any attorneys' fees and legal costs the employee spends in forcing the employer to comply.

Below is a rundown of state laws regarding the timing of final paychecks. Employers looking for policy language on final paychecks (and other issues that arise at the end of the employment relationship, such as benefits continuation and references) can find it in Create Your Own Employee Handbook, by Lisa Guerin and Amy DelPo (Nolo). Employees looking for information on your rights when a job ends can find it in Your Rights in the Workplace, by Barbara Kate Repa (Nolo). 

State Final Paycheck Deadline
Alabama No statute
Alaska If employee is fired: within three working days.
If employee quits: next regular payday at least three days after employee gives notice. (Alaska Stat. § 23.05.140.)
Arizona If employee is fired: within seven working days or next payday, whichever is sooner.
If employee quits: next payday. (Ariz. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 23-353.)
Arkansas If employee is fired: within seven days from discharge. (Arkansas Code § 11-4-405.)
California If employee is fired: immediately.
If employee quits: within 72 hours, or immediately if employee has given at least 72 hours' notice. (Cal. Lab. Code §§ 201, 202, and 227.3.)
Colorado If employee is fired: immediately. (Within six hours of start of next workday, if payroll unit is closed; 24 hours if unit is offsite.) Employer decides check delivery.
If employee quits: next scheduled payday. (Colo. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 8-4-109.)
Connecticut If employee is fired: next business day after discharge.
If employee quits: next scheduled payday. (Conn. Gen. Stat. Ann. § 31-71c.)
Delaware If employee is fired: next scheduled payday.
If employee quits: next scheduled payday. (Del. Code Ann. tit. 19, § 1103.)
District of Columbia If employee is fired: next business day.
If employee quits: next scheduled payday or within seven days, whichever is sooner. (D.C. Code § 32-1303.)
Florida No statute
Georgia No statute
Hawaii If employee is fired: immediately or next business day, if conditions prevent immediate payment.
If employee quits: next scheduled payday or immediately, if employee gives one pay period's notice. (Haw. Rev. Stat. § 388-3.)
Idaho If employee is fired: next payday or within 10 days (excluding weekends & holidays), whichever is sooner. If employee makes a written request for earlier payment, within 48 hours of receiving request (excluding weekends & holidays).
If employee quits: next payday or within 10 days (excluding weekends & holidays), whichever is sooner. If employee makes a written request for earlier payment, within 48 hours of receiving request (excluding weekends & holidays). (Idaho Code §§ 45-606, 45-617.)
Illinois If employee is fired: at time of separation if possible, but no later than next payday.
If employee quits: at time of separation if possible, but no later than next payday. (820 Ill. Comp. Stat. 115/5.)
Indiana If employee is fired: next scheduled payday.
If employee quits: next scheduled payday. If employee has not provided a forwarding address, employer may wait until 10 days after employee demands wages or until employee provides an address where the check may be mailed. (Ind. Code §§ 22-2-9-1 and 22-2-5-1.)
Iowa If employee is fired: next scheduled payday.
If employee quits: next scheduled payday. (Iowa Code Ann. § 91A.4.)
Kansas If employee is fired: next scheduled payday.
If employee quits: next scheduled payday. (Kan. Stat. Ann. § 44-315.)
Kentucky If employee is fired: next scheduled payday or within 14 days, whichever is later.
If employee quits: next scheduled payday or within 14 days, whichever is later. (Ky. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 337.055.)
Louisiana If employee is fired: next payday or within 15 days, whichever is earlier.
If employee quits: next payday or within 15 days, whichever is earlier. (La. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 23:631.)
Maine If employee is fired: next scheduled payday or within two weeks after demand, whichever is earlier.
If employee quits: next scheduled payday or within two weeks after demand, whichever is earlier. (Me. Rev. Stat. Ann. tit. 26, § 626.)
Maryland If employee is fired: next scheduled payday.
If employee quits: next scheduled payday. (Md. Lab. & Emp. Code Ann. § 3-505.)
Massachusetts If employee is fired: day of discharge.
If employee quits: next payday. If no scheduled payday, then following Saturday. (Mass. Ann. Laws ch. 149 § 148.)
Michigan If employee is fired: next payday.
If employee quits: next payday. (Mich. Comp. Laws §§ 408.474 and 408.475.)
Minnesota If employee is fired: immediately.
If employee quits: next payday. If payday is less than five days after last day of work, employer may pay on the following payday or 20 days after last day of work, whichever is earlier. (Minn. Stat. §§ 181.13 and 181.14.)
Mississippi No statute
Missouri If employee is fired: day of discharge. (Mo. Ann. Stat. § 290.110.)
Montana If employee is laid off or fired for cause: immediately. Employer may have a written policy extending this time to the next payday or within 15 days, whichever is earlier.
If employee quits: next payday or within 15 days, whichever is earlier. (Mont. Code Ann. § 39-3-205.)
Nebraska If employee is fired: next scheduled payday or within two weeks, whichever is earlier.
If employee quits: next payday or within two weeks, whichever is earlier. (Neb. Rev. Stat. § 48-1230.)
Nevada If employee is fired: immediately.
If employee quits: next scheduled payday or within seven days, whichever is earlier. (Nev. Rev. Stat. §§ 608.020 and 608.030.)
New Hampshire If employee is fired: within 72 hours. If employee is laid off, employer may wait until the next payday.
If employee quits: next scheduled payday or within 72 hours, if employee gives one pay period's notice. (N.H. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 275:44.)
New Jersey If employee is fired: next scheduled payday.
If employee quits: next scheduled payday. (N.J. Stat. Ann. § 34:11-4.3.)
New Mexico If employee is fired: within five days.
If employee quits: next payday. (N.M. Stat. Ann. §§ 50-4-4, 50-4-5.)
New York If employee is fired: next scheduled payday.
If employee quits: next scheduled payday. (N.Y. Labor Laws § 191.)
North Carolina If employee is fired: next scheduled payday.
If employee quits: next scheduled payday. (N.C. Gen. Stat. § 95.25.7.)
North Dakota If employee is fired: next payday or within 15 days, whichever is earlier.
If employee quits: next payday. (N.D. Cent. Code § 34-14-03.)
Ohio If employee is fired or quits: first of the month for wages earned in the first half of prior month; fifteenth of the month for wages earned in second half of prior month.(Ohio Rev. Code Ann. § 4113.15.)
Oklahoma If employee is fired: next scheduled payday.
If employee quits: next scheduled payday. (Okla. Stat. Ann. tit. 40, § 165.3.)
Oregon If employee is fired: end of first business day after termination (must be within five days if employee submits time records to determine wages due).
If employee quits: immediately, if employee has given 48 hours' notice (excluding weekends & holidays). Without notice, within five days or the next payday, whichever occurs first. (must be within five days if employee submits time records to determine wages due). (Or. Rev. Stat. § 652.140.)
Pennsylvania If employee is fired: next scheduled payday.
If employee quits: next scheduled payday. (43 Pa. Cons. Stat. Ann. § 260.5.)
Rhode Island If employee is fired: next scheduled payday. If termination is due to merger, relocation, or liquidation of business, within 24 hours.
If employee quits: next scheduled payday. (R.I. Gen. Laws § 28-14-4.)
South Carolina If employee is fired: within 48 hours or next scheduled payday, but not more than 30 days. (S.C. Codified Laws § 41-10-50.)
South Dakota If employee is fired: next payday or when employee returns employer's property.
If employee quits: next payday or when employee returns employer's property. (S.D. Codified Laws §§ 60-11-10 and 60-11-14.)
Tennessee If employee is fired: next scheduled payday or within 21 days, whichever is later.
If employee quits: next scheduled payday or within 21 days, whichever is later. (Tenn. Code. Ann. § 50-2-103.)
Texas If employee is fired: within six days.
If employee quits: next payday. (Texas Code Ann., Labor § 61.014)
Utah If employee is fired: within 24 hours.
If employee quits: next scheduled payday. (Utah Code Ann. § 34-28-5.)
Vermont If employee is fired: within 72 hours.
If employee quits: next scheduled payday or, if no scheduled payday exists, the next Friday. (Vt. Stat. Ann. tit. 21, § 342.)
Virginia If employee is fired: next scheduled payday.
If employee quits: next scheduled payday. (Va. Code § 40.1-29.)
Washington If employee is fired: end of next pay period.
If employee quits: end of next pay period. (Wash. Rev. Code § 49.48.010.)
West Virginia If employee is fired: next regular payday or four business days, whichever is earlier.
If employee quits: Immediately, if employee has given one pay period's notice; otherwise, next scheduled payday. (W. Va. Code § 21-5-4.)
Wisconsin If employee is fired: next payday or within one month, whichever is earlier. If termination is due to merger, relocation, or liquidation of business, within 24 hours.
If employee quits: next payday. (Wis. Stat. Ann. § 109.03.)
Wyoming If employee is fired: five working days.
If employee quits: five working days. (Wyo. Stat. Ann. § 27-4-104.)
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