HR

When do I need to give a terminated employee their final paycheck?

Heads up: This article provides general information but it’s not legal advice. Please consult an HR expert or employment attorney for specific guidance on your business and situation.

Like many other termination laws, it depends on your state. Almost every state has a law that answers this question in detail. For a full list of final paycheck laws by state, click here or visit your state’s Department of Labor website.

Are the final paycheck laws different if an employee is fired, laid off, or leaves on their own?

Yes, the final paycheck laws are different between when an employee is involuntarily terminated– either fired or laid off–or leaves on their own. Review any applicable state laws carefully, however, as some states treat both categories of employees the same. For example:

  • In Nevada:
    • If employee is fired: immediately.
    • If employee quits: next scheduled payday or within seven days, whichever is earlier.
  • In New York:
    • If employee is fired: next scheduled payday.
    • If employee quits: next scheduled payday.
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