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Worker News

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Weekly (8/26/19)

Topic of the Week  Final Paycheck - What Are Your Rights?

My employer refuses to give me my last paycheck. What can I do?

How long does my employer have to deliver my last paycheck after I quit or am terminated?

If I give my employer a two-week notice of the date of my termination, can my employer fire me before the end of those two weeks and not pay me?

 

My employer refuses to give me my last paycheck. What can I do?
As mentioned above, your employer has a reasonable amount of time, or a set time period, governed by state law, to give you your final paycheck. If that date or a reasonable amount of time has passed, then you should contact a government agency and/or a lawyer in your area to help you determine how to proceed. If you are only owed the amount of your last paycheck, the amount may be too small for a lawyer to pursue a case against your employer on your behalf, but there are federal and state government agencies that can help you, even if you do not have a lawyer.
If you do not get the help you need from the agencies you contact, small claims court is also an option. Because of the small amount of money involved, you may be able to pursue a claim against your employer more quickly and inexpensively in small claims court, and you may not need a lawyer.

How long does my employer have to deliver my last paycheck after I quit or am terminated?
Generally, the employer has a reasonable time to pay you your last check, usually within 30 days. The most common requirement is that you be paid by the next payday when you would have been paid. Some states may require that the employer pay you within a shorter or more specific period of time, either immediately or within a few days of discharge. There can be different requirements depending on whether you were fired or you quit voluntarily: some states require terminated employees to be paid immediately, while those who resign must wait until the next payday.

If I give my employer a two-week notice of the date of my termination, can my employer fire me before the end of those two weeks and not pay me?
Yes. Most employees, unless under a contractual agreement, are employees at will and can be terminated at any time. Generally, companies will honor the two-week notice and pay the employee for the last two weeks even if the employer does not allow the employee to work during that time period. However, there is no federal law which requires the employer to pay employees or even allow them to work during that two-week notice period.

Thought of the Week

"As we join with family and friends on Labor Day 2019, it is useful to reflect back on labor’s many contributions to making the American Dream available to everyday wage-earners. Every workplace right and safeguard enjoyed by union and non-union employees were enacted with the help of organized labor [...]."

–John Kretzschmar Founding director of UNO’s William Brennan Institute for Labor Studies

Weekly Comic by Jerry King

Weekly Comic by Jerry King

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