Q:

Can my employer keep my last paycheck?

A:

Quick Answer

The U.S. Department of Labor reports that employers are not required by federal law to give a former employee a final paycheck immediately, except where stipulated by state law. However, employers cannot withhold an employee's final paycheck beyond the normal pay period covering the last time the employee worked without risking legal action on the employee's part to recover the wages due.

Know More
Can my employer keep my last paycheck?
Credit: Fullerene E+ Getty Images

Full Answer

The Illinois Department of Labor notes that an employer cannot keep an employee's final paycheck until the employee returns company property. The employer may be able to deduct the cost of the company property from an employee's final paycheck; this depends on the circumstances surrounding the issue and the governing state's laws concerning employer wage deductions. In some states, to make this kind of deduction from wages, the employer would need the employee to sign a wage deduction agreement. Otherwise the employer can invoice the former employee for the cost of items or pursue legal recourse in small claims court.

The U.S. Department of Labor explains that an employee who does not receive a timely final paycheck in accordance with state and federal law can contact the governing state's department of labor or the federal department of labor's wage and hour division for assistance.


Is this answer helpful?

Similar Questions

  • Q:

    Can an employer hold an employee paycheck?

    A:

    An employer cannot hold a final pay check for non-return of company equipment, according to the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). Some states allow employers to deduct such costs from the final pay check, while others prohibit these deductions entirely. It is illegal for an employer to withhold pay for any time an employee has worked, including overtime.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    Are employees always entitled to lunch breaks?

    A:

    Depending on the state in which an employee works, he may be entitled to a lunch break, although lunch breaks are not mandated under federal law, according to the U.S. Department of Labor. For instance, California is an example of a state where the labor code grants workers meal periods.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    Why is it illegal to pay employees in cash?

    A:

    It is not illegal for employers to pay employees in cash, reports About.com, although this practice can get business owners in trouble with the government over tax evasion. Employers also risk running afoul of worker's compensation laws. To avoid legal troubles, employers must keep detailed records of all cash payments to workers.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    How do labor unions work?

    A:

    Labor unions negotiate collectively with employers on behalf of workers. They seek to improve wages, working conditions and work hours for their members, among other things. They claim to represent the voice of the voiceless and work toward improving the welfare of all members.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:

Explore