When do I have to pay an employee who quits?

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Question:

An employee just quit without notice yesterday. Because she is moving to another state to take a new job, she wants her final paycheck right away. Do I have to pay her immediately, or can I wait for our usual payday?

Answer:

It depends on the laws of your state. Many states have statutes dictating when employers have to hand over a final paycheck to a departing employee. Some of these laws make a distinction between employees who are fired and employees who quit -- generally, an employee who is fired has a right to be paid more quickly.

To find out what your state requires, consult the chart in Nolo's chart, Final Paychecks for Departing Employees, or contact your state department of labor.

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