Each state has laws that control and regulate all issues regarding employee paychecks. The laws generally cover when an employee should be paid, what happens if the employee is fired, and if there are any reasons why an employer can withhold money from a paycheck. While the laws can overlap, they can also vary from state to state so it is important to know the differences that apply to your state.

When Must Paychecks Be Sent Out?

In Delaware, an employer must give the employee their paychecks for the hours worked at least once a month. If an employee is for any reason not at work on the regular payday, the employer must either by mail if the employee has requested their paycheck or sends it direct deposit to the employee’s bank account the next business working day.

What Happens If You are Fired?

In Delaware, if an employee quits, resigns, is fired, the employee must be paid a paycheck on the next regularly scheduled pay period either by mail or by direct deposit. The procedures for being laid off, quitting, or being fired is the same in regards to when an employee should be given their final paycheck.

In Delaware, there has been no state law established that requires an employer to pay their employees any unused vacation time that the employee has not used on the employee’s final paycheck. Since there is no state law that governs this area, employers in Delaware can establish their own procedures on what happens to unused vacation time when an employee is fired. If an employer does provide vacation benefits, they must put this agreement in a contract with their employees or have a written policy in place. An employer may also put a policy in place or state in a contract that an employee may not receive payment for any paid vacation time left after the employee resigns or is terminated

Can Your Paycheck be Garnished?

Yes. Your paycheck can be garnished. However, Delaware law limits how much creditors can garnish of your wages to repay debts like unpaid taxes, child support, or settlements. Delaware wage garnishment laws are considered stricter than federal wage garnishment laws, which means that state law will control.

Under Delaware law, creditors can take only up to 15% of your wages if they want to garnish your wages for unpaid debt. However, there are few types of debt, where creditors can take more. Creditors can garnish paychecks more than the limits set for the following types of unpaid debt:

  • Unpaid income taxes
  • Court ordered child support
  • Student loans in default

Can You Recover a Withheld Paycheck?

There are no events under which an employer can entirely withhold a final paycheck under Delaware law. Employers are required to pay the employee their wages due when the pay period has arrived unless the following situations apply:

  • Employer is required to withhold the paycheck under federal or state law
  • The withholding is for medical, health, or hospital care that are due by the employee to employer

If your employer is withholding your paycheck from you or you have not been paid your final paycheck in Delaware, you may bring action against your employer under federal and state law and violation of Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).

Where Can You Find the Right Lawyer?

If your employer has withheld an amount from your final paycheck for property you kept, a Delaware employment lawyer may be able to help. The laws in your state might prohibit a withholding, or if you have not kept any property, you might have a wrongful termination claim. An employment lawyer can help you evaluate the circumstances of your termination. If you have any questions or concerns about whether you are receiving your rights and protections as an employee under the Delaware labor laws, contact a local lawyer today.