I Quit. When Do I Get My Final Paycheck?

By Stephanie Rabiner, Esq. on October 10, 2011 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

So, you and your last employer have split ways. You're absolutely over. Except for one little thing. He won't give you your final paycheck!

Sadly, this is not that uncommon. Employment situations can end badly - it happens. Employers are often unaware of laws that govern final pay.

If you find yourself waiting payment on hours you've worked, consider utilizing the following information.

Whether you quit or are fired, you must be paid for all hours worked. When you are paid is generally governed by state law. There is no federal regulation that requires employers to pay you immediately.

A quick look at the list of final pay laws shows widespread variation amongst the states. California, for example, requires fired employees to be paid immediately. For those who quit, employers have 72 hours to issue the final paycheck.

In Tennessee, all employees are entitled to final pay on the next scheduled payday or within 21 days, whichever is later.

Some states have no laws governing final paychecks. In these instances, the Department of Labor urges people to contact the state labor department if the next regular payday has passed without a check.

In fact, if your former employer is not complying with state law, you should also contact regulatory authorities. However, you should first send a reminder stating that you have not received your final paycheck as required by the law. Wage claims can be drawn out and messy, and sometimes all you need to do is ask.

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