What is a payday?

Payday is the day your employees are paid for the work done during the previous pay period. It’s the day they get their paycheck.

How often should I pay my employees?

The typical payroll frequencies in the US are:

  • Weekly;
  • Bi-weekly (every other week);
  • Semi-monthly (twice a month); and
  • Monthly.

Am I required to use one payday frequency over another?

Federal law (per the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA)), does not specify a particular payday frequency to be used.

Under individual state laws however, there are many regulations regarding payday frequency. For example in:

  • Arizona, payday must occur on two or more days in a month, and those days cannot be more than 16 days apart;
  • California and Michigan, the frequency of payday depends on the occupation of the employee; and
  • Alabama and South Carolina, there are no regulations around the length of pay periods.

Before setting a pay schedule, it’s important to verify all laws that might apply in your jurisdiction. For a full rundown of all state pay schedule laws, visit this US Department of Labor page.

This article provides general information and shouldn’t be construed as tax advice. Since tax rules may change over time and can vary by location and industry, please consult a CPA or tax advisor for advice specific to your business.