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.
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.
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.
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.
If the employer observes the holiday, then the payment must be given by the next business day.
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.
|District of Columbia||Semi-Monthly|
|Iowa||At least Monthly|
|Michigan||Depends on Job|
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.