Q:

What are the laws for holding an employee paycheck?

A:

Quick Answer

Federal and state wage and labor laws require employers to pay employees promptly, and therefore, withholding a paycheck is not allowed. Employers are legally obligated under the Fair Labor Standards Act to follow certain rules and regulations regarding when employees should be paid, according to About.com. Employers that hold paychecks may be severely penalized for disobeying labor laws.

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Full Answer

States decide how soon employees must be paid after the end of a pay period, according to U.S. News and World Report. An employer is not allowed to hold back a paycheck to punish an employee for performance reasons. For example, some employers may think that it is okay not to pay an employee who has not turned in a time sheet. While not having an accurate time sheet is annoying for the employer, the company is still under a legal obligation to pay the worker within the time set by state guidelines. The burden is on the employer to have systems in place to ensure that employees are paid on time.

In addition, there are strict rules concerning a last paycheck. When workers leave a company for any reason, they must be paid in a timely manner that adheres to state guidelines, according to the U.S. Department of Labor. Some states require that last checks be paid immediately. Employers should check state law concerning end of employment payment rules.

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    What is federal tax withholding?

    A:

    Federal tax withholding is an amount held from a regular employee's paycheck that goes toward his federal tax obligation. The amount an employer withholds from each paycheck is based on information provided by a worker on a W-4 form, according to the Internal Revenue Service.

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    Can an employer hold your paycheck for any reason?

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    Federal law prohibits an employer from withholding an employee paycheck for any reason. The Society for Human Resource Management indicates the Fair Labor Standards Act requires employers to pay employee wages on the next regular payday for the previous pay period. Various states have different laws regarding when a terminated employee must receive his paycheck.

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    Can my employer keep my last paycheck?

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    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.

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    Can my employer withhold my last paycheck?

    A:

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