Your paycheck is probably the most important part of your job. Thus, it is not surprising that there are many laws protecting your rights to your paycheck. In Georgia, these rights are enforced by the Georgia Department of Labor (GDOL).
Georgia state law requires most employers pay the majority of their employees at least semimonthly. Only companies in the sawmill, farming, and turpentine industries are exempt from this requirement. If an employees is a superintendent, an official, or a head or subhead of a department, they may be paid on a monthly or yearly basis in accordance with their contract.
Georgia state law does not have any specific regulations on how to pay out an employee’s remaining pay after they are let go from the company. Thus, your employer is required by the federal Fair Labor and Standards Act (FLSA) to give you your final paycheck by the last day of your last pay period.
Paychecks can be garnished for several reasons in Georgia, although creditors often must obtain permission from the court to garnish your wages. However, if you are not making payments on your student loans, owed taxes, and past due child support, then your paycheck can be garnished without any court order allowing for garnishment.
Employers in Georgia are not held to any specific laws regarding paycheck deductions for damaged property. This means that your employer may be able to withhold part of your wages for a number of reasons, including if you have damaged company property or failed to return company property after leaving the company. However, the FLSA prohibits any employer from deducting so much money that you are left with wages falling below the minimum wage.
Your employer cannot withhold your paycheck indefinitely. If an employer will not give your paycheck to you, then you can pursue the owed wages in court.
If you think your employer has violated your right to your paycheck, you should speak with a Georgia lawyer immediately. An employment lawyer can explain your options for pursuing your full wages to you and help you make your best case.