The United States has a comprehensive federal law that determines regulations regarding how and when employees get paid. These paycheck laws are applicable to all United States citizens. However, individual states are allowed to make additional laws to supplement federal laws. As long as state laws comply with federal laws, states have freedom to create tighter regulations and more rules about employment compensation.

When Must Paychecks Be Sent Out?

Montana State law does not specify how often employers must pay their employees. But if an employer does not specify their pay schedule, then it is assumed that all paychecks will be distributed twice a month. After the end of a pay period, all paychecks must be sent out within 10 days. But, if an employee has a timecard and fail to send the timecard in for payment, then the employee’s wages for the missed pay period will be added to the next one.

What Happens If You are Fired?

Montana state law requires that an employee who is fired must be paid owed wages on the same day. The law states the payment must sent within four hours of the termination or by the end of the business day. However, employers are allowed to bypass this regulation if they have put a different arrangement in writing with the employee ahead of time.

However, if a Montana employee quits, they are paid on the next scheduled pay day in the period, which must occur within 15 calendar days. Employers who operate in the private sector are not required to pay out sick leave or vacation time for former employees. There is no law as to how to pay an employee that resigns due to a labor dispute, but employers tend to pay wages as owed on a twice a month basis or within 15 days of resigning (whichever occurs first).

Can Your Paycheck be Garnished?

When a person is late on child support, payments on a civil settlement or unpaid taxes, a judge determines if their paycheck can be garnished. The party that is owed must file a claim in court and argue their case before a judge. Since garnishing a paycheck can only occur due to a formal judicial order, it is not up to individual employees.

Paychecks cannot be garnished for lost work items or damaged work properties. But if an employee is discharged due to theft, suspected by the employer, of work property then the employer may withhold an amount from the final paycheck to cover the cost of the stolen item. But only if the employee consents to it being withheld or the employer files a report with local law enforcement within 7 days of the employee’s termination. If law enforcement does not charge the employee with theft within 15 days, then the employer must pay back all wages they withheld due to the theft.

Can You Recover a Withheld Paycheck?

If a paycheck is withheld after you have quit or been terminated, you can speak with a local Montana employment lawyer to find out what your options are. You may want to file a claim in court or file a wage claim.

Where Can You Find the Right Lawyer?

If you think your paycheck was you should contact a local Montana employment lawyer right away to find out what your options are.