Find out your state’s laws on issuing final paychecks to workers.
When an employee decides to leave your company, it’s important that you follow your state’s laws around issuing their final paycheck. These laws differ from state to state, and the circumstances around how the employee leaves can also dictate when the final paycheck must be given to your employee (quitting vs. being terminated).
Overview of final paychecks
Regardless of how their employment ended with your company, it’s not legal for a company to withhold a final paycheck from an employee. Their final paycheck should also include any wages earned, commissions, any accrued vacation pay, and bonuses. If you’re interested in reading more about paystubs, you can find out what else should be included in them here.
Regardless of how their employment ended with your company, it’s not legal for a company to withhold a final paycheck from an employee.
Final paycheck laws by state
While the federal government does not mandate that you provide their final paycheck immediately, some states do mandate this (e.g. Massachusetts, if the employee was terminated). That being said, if the state you operate in has no laws around issuing final paychecks (e.g. Alabama), this means you’re covered by the federal law to issue the final paycheck on the next regularly scheduled payday.
Read on to see your state’s laws around issuing an employee’s final paycheck, and make sure your company stays compliant.
Final paycheck laws by state
|wdt_ID||State||Law if the employee quit||Law if the employee was terminated|
|1||Alabama||No law.||No law.|
|2||Alaska||The next payday that’s at least 3 working days after the employee’s last day.||3 working days after the employee’s last day.|
|3||Arizona||The next scheduled payday.||Whichever comes first: Within 7 days or next payday.|
|4||Arkansas||The next scheduled payday.||Next payday (and will owe double the wages due if wages are not paid within 7 days of payday) .|
|5||California||Within 72 hours, unless the employee has given more than 72 hours' notice, then their paycheck must be given immediately (and are entitled to recover penalties from their employer for every day they have to wait).||Immediately (and are entitled to recover penalties from their employer for every day they have to wait).|
|6||Colorado||The next scheduled payday.||Immediately, in this case meaning within 6 hours of the start of the next working day if the payroll unit is closed when termination occurs, or within 24 hours if the payroll unit is offsite.|
|7||Connecticut||The next scheduled payday.||The next business day.|
|8||Delaware||The next scheduled payday.||The next scheduled payday.|
|9||District of Columbia||Whichever comes first: Within 7 days or next payday.||The next business day.|
|10||Florida||No law.||No law.|
|State||Law if the employee quit||Law if the employee was terminated|
It’s crucial that you follow your state’s laws regarding issuing final paychecks, because violating the law — even accidentally — can create a legal headache. Also make sure to check your state’s laws sporadically, since they can change.