When an employee resigns or is terminated, they usually wonder when they will get their last paycheck. When must a company pay a final paycheck, and when could it become wage theft?
First, if an employee is discharged or terminated, then they must be paid “immediately upon demand.” That means that an employee can request a final paycheck immediately after learning they were fired. An employer then has 24 hours to provide the final paycheck after that request or demand.
Second, if an employee gives proper notice of resignation, employers may provide a paycheck on the employee’s last day at work. But employers are NOT legally required to do so. An employer has up to the pay period following the employee’s final day (that is more than 5 days after the employee quit) to provide an employee their final paycheck. But it cannot be longer than 20 days after separation. So, if an employee resigned on the same day as their “payday,” that doesn’t mean that an employee will receive their final paycheck on that day.
If you resigned from an employer and the next pay period has passed and you did not receive full compensation you may be looking at potential wage theft. Similarly, if you resigned from an employer more than 20 days ago and you have not received your final paycheck, you may be looking at potential wage theft. State and federal laws prohibit various forms of wage theft.