Chart: Final Paychecks for Departing Employees

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

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.)

If employee quits: next regular payday.

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 method of 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 the 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 upon demand by employee.

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, unless employer has 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.

If employee quits: next payday. (N.D. Cent. Code § 34-14-03.)

Ohio If employee is fired or quits: next scheduled payday. (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.

If employee quits: immediately, if employee has given 48 hours' notice (excluding weekends & holidays). Without 48 hours' 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 or quits: within 48 hours or next scheduled payday, but not more than 30 days. (S.C. Code Ann. § 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 earlier.

If employee quits: next scheduled payday or within 21 days, whichever is earlier. (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 scheduled payday.

If employee quits: 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: next payday.

If employee quits: next payday. (Wyo. Stat. Ann. § 27-4-104.)

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