Q: 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.

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