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Final Wage Payment Requirements by State and Municipality

Author: Alice Gilman

State wage payment laws govern when an employer must pay final wages to an employee who has separated from employment. Some state laws make a distinction between when an employer must pay an employee who has been fired (involuntary separation) and an employee who quits (voluntary separation).

State wage payment laws also dictate whether an employer must pay a separated employee the value of any accrued but unused time, such as vacation time or paid sick leave, or whether the employee forfeits the value of this time. In some states, individual localities have their own requirements regarding payment of accrued time.

The following chart summarizes each jurisdiction's requirements on when to pay final wages to an employee who has separated from employment, how to treat any accrued but unused time and the penalties that apply if an employer fails to comply with these requirements. A notation of "N/A" means there is no law on the issue in the jurisdiction.

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