Pay Day Requirements

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What Are Pay Day Requirements?

While much attention is given to how much an employer must pay an employee for his or her services (e.g. minimum wage, overtime, etc.), it is also important to take notice of how often an employee must be paid.  Depending on the state and the occupation, employees must be paid within certain intervals of time (e.g. once a week, twice a month, etc.)

Can My Employer Withhold Pay If I Forget To Turn In My Time Card?

In most states, if an employee fails to turn in a time card or other timekeeping record, the employer is still required to pay the employee based upon a reasonable estimate. Any differences can be accounted for in the next payment. The burden of payment is on the employer as long as the employee is still working for the employer. 

When Must I Receive My Final Pay?

If you quit or become terminated, you are still entitled to your last paycheck. The pay day for that last amount will differ from state to state. The time periods can differ between: immediately on the day of discharge, the next day, within the next 72 hours, or on the next scheduled pay day. Please check your state for actual listings.  

What about Overtime?

Overtime is to be paid by the payday of the next payroll period. Only overtime may be delayed in this manner; regular wages cannot be withheld.

What If My Payday Falls on a Holiday?

If the employer observes the holiday, then the payment must be given by the next business day.

How Often Must I Be Paid?

Most states have passed laws setting out the requirements of how often an employee must be paid.  Again, depending on the location of your employment and the type of work you perform, the law may require your employer to pay you for your services within a certain period of time.  Some factors that impact the frequency of pay include whether you perform manual labor or work on a farm, the number of employees at your place of employment, and your salary.

This chart lists the state and the frequency of pay required by law. Note that some states may have different pay rates for different types of jobs. In Illinois, for example, state law requires that employees are paid semi-monthly while executive, administrative and professional personnel are to be paid monthly. 

State
Frequency of Pay Required
Alabama
None Stated
Alaska
Semi-monthly/Monthly
Arizona
Semi-monthly
Arkansas
Semi-monthly
California
Semi-monthly
Colorado
Monthly
Connecticut
Weekly
Delaware
Monthly
District of Columbia
Semi-monthly
Florida
Monthly
Georgia
Semi-monthly
Hawaii
Semi-monthly/ Monthly
Idaho
Monthly
Illinois
Semi-monthly/ Monthly
Indiana
Bi-Weekly
Iowa
Bi-Weekly
Kansas
Monthly
Kentucky
Semi-monthly
Louisiana
Bi-Weekly/Semi-monthly
Maine
Semi-monthly
Maryland
Bi-Weekly
Massachusetts
Weekly/Bi-Weekly
Michigan
Weekly/Bi-Weekly/ Monthly
Minnesota
Monthly
Mississippi
Bi-Weekly/Semi-monthly
Missouri
Semi-monthly
Montana
Bi-Weekly
Nebraska
None Stated
Nevada
Semi-monthly/ Monthly
New Hampshire
Weekly
New Jersey
Semi-monthly
New Mexico
Semi-monthly/ Monthly
New York
Weekly/Semi-monthly
North Carolina
None Stated
North Dakota
Monthly
Ohio
Semi-monthly
Oklahoma
Semi-monthly
Oregon
Monthly
Pennsylvania
None Stated
Rhode Island
Weekly
South Carolina
None Stated
South Dakota
Monthly
Tennessee
Semi-monthly
Texas
Semi-monthly/ Monthly
Utah
Semi-monthly
Vermont
Weekly/Bi-Weekly/Semi-monthly
Virginia
Bi-Weekly/Semi-monthly/ Monthly
Washington
Monthly
West Virginia
Bi-Weekly
Wisconsin
Monthly
Wyoming
Semi-monthly

Should I Speak with an Attorney about the Pay Day Requirements of My Employer?

If you have any question or concerns about how often you should be paid, you should contact an experienced employment attorney who can provide you with the necessary information.  An attorney can also assist you with a claim if your employer has failed to pay you according to state law requirements.  If you are an employer, you should speak with an attorney to ensure that your payment schedules are in full compliance with the applicable state laws. 

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Last Modified: 09-13-2012 03:17 PM PDT

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