Payday requirements vary by state, in the U.S., and are usually written into state law. Frequency of pay day can be classified as weekly, biweekly, semi-monthly and monthly. In all except a few states, the payday term will be described under state law.

The state’s laws may also provide for other payday distinctions. Some states have different pay periods according to the occupation involved. Most states also require that an employer give their employees notice of the pay period for their job.

What Should I Do if My Paycheck is Late?

Your state probably has a procedure written into the law for how to handle this. However, the general procedure throughout the U.S. is as follows:

  • Contact your employer (in writing is best) and inquire;
  • If your employer will not pay you, you may need to file a claim with your state department of labor;
  • Beyond this, if still unpaid, you may have to file a claim in small claims court; and
  • For larger amounts of money, you may consider hiring an attorney to assist you.

You should also follow this procedure, or the procedure in your state, if your employer refuses to pay you because you did not record your hours worked correctly. As long as you are still employed by them, they are still required to pay you a reasonable estimate of what they would owe you for the number of hours you typically work during the pay period in question.

When am I Entitled to Receive my Final Pay?

Regardless of whether you quit or were fired, you are still entitled to be paid for the last pay period you worked. The actual date you must be paid will also differ by state, so you should check for your state’s law on this.

In general, though, 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 payday.

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?

Below are the general, or default pay periods listed by state. However, remember that in some states the pay period may vary by occupation, and your state’s laws may also have other distinctions, so it is always best to to check the law in your state.

State Frequency Required
Alabama None
Alaska Semi-Monthly/Monthly
Arizona Semi-Monthly
Arkansas Semi-Monthly
California Semi-Monthly (typical)
Colorado Monthly
Connecticut Weekly
Delaware Monthly
District of Columbia Semi-Monthly
Florida None
Georgia Semi-Monthly
Hawaii Semi-Monthly
Idaho Monthly
Illinois Semi-Monthly/Monthly
Indiana Bi-Weekly/Semi-Monthly
Iowa At least Monthly
Kansas Monthly
Kentucky Semi-Monthly
Louisiana Bi-Weekly
Maine Semi-Monthly
Maryland Bi-Weekly/Semi-Monthly
Massachusetts Weekly/Bi-Weekly
Michigan Depends on Job
Minnesota Semi-Monthly/Monthly
Mississippi Bi-Weekly/Semi-Monthly
Missouri Semi-Monthly
Montana Bi-Weekly
Nebraska None
Nevada Semi-Monthly/Monthly
New Hampshire Weekly
New Jersey Semi-Monthly
New Mexico Semi-Monthly/Monthly
New York Weekly/Semi-Monthly
North Carolina None
North Dakota Monthly
Ohio Semi-Monthly
Oklahoma Semi-Monthly
Oregon Monthly
Pennsylvania None
Rhode Island Weekly
South Carolina None
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 Semi-Monthly
Wisconsin Monthly
Wyoming Semi-Monthly

Should I Speak with an Attorney About the Payday Requirements of My Employer?

If you are having difficulty figuring out the exact payday requirements for your state and occupation, a local employment attorney can assist you. They can also help if you are having difficulties getting paid the money your employer owes you.

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.