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What You Need to Know About Receiving Your Final Paycheck

When the time comes for an employee to put in their two weeks, it’s critical that employees and employers alike understand final paycheck laws. Laws related to final paychecks are complicated as they vary by state. Final paycheck laws are also relevant to an employee’s contract with their employer. In this editorial, a Tampa wage and hour attorney will discuss final paycheck laws in the State of Florida and the wage and hour rights of employees that are owed unpaid compensation. 

Common Questions Related to Final Paychecks

There’s no debating that employers owe their employees their final paycheck for the hours they have worked. However, there are many topics related to final paycheck laws that are less clear. For example, topics like unused vacation time, unused sick days, or the deadline to pay an employee by are all gray areas of final paycheck laws. Let’s cover a few of these questions and see how an attorney can be of assistance.

When is the deadline to pay an employee after they leave a company?

In some states, an employee is required to be compensated in as little as one business day. 

In the State of Florida, there is no specific deadline for an employer to pay their employees by (unless defined in the employee contract). However, it’s best practice for an employer to compensate their employee within 30 days of their last day of work. Typically, an employer will compensate the employee by their next pay period including any additional payment owed like overtime pay. If you are owed unpaid overtime, speak with a Tampa overtime lawyer.  

After receiving a two weeks notice, does an employer have to allow the employee to work for that time period? 

In Florida, employees are at will, meaning an employee can be terminated at any time without any advanced warning or notice. When an employee puts in their two weeks notice, the employer can elect to allow the employee to work during that time or to release them from their contract. There is no federal or state law that mandates that an employer must allow the employee to work their final two weeks after they receive notice. 

What happens with unused vacation, sick, or personal time? 

In dozens of states, an employee has a right to challenge an employer to pay for unpaid personal time they have accrued. In Florida, there is no law that requires employers to compensate their employees for this unpaid time unless stipulated in the contract. If you believe you are owed unpaid personal time, speak with our Tampa Wage and Hour attorneys.

What are the options for a former employee if their employer refuses to compensate them?

If a former employee is owed compensation and the employer refuses to pay, the employee should consult an attorney. An attorney can help in the following ways: 

  • An attorney can determine if a reasonable amount of time has passed without the employee having received payment. In some cases, an employee may feel they should have already received payment, but the employer could have a reasonable reason for not having paid them yet.   
  • An attorney will know to closely review an employment contract and assess the terms of the agreement and whether or not the employer is compliant with the policies within the contract. 
  • An experienced attorney has a firm understanding of what is considered compensable time not only at the end of an employee’s employment, but during their employment tenure. For example, if your position requires you to travel or work from home certain hours per week, this is compensable time and you are owed unpaid overtime.  
  • In many payment disputes, a lawsuit is an option. For $5,000 in unpaid compensation or less, a small claims case could be the best option to recover payment. If the employer has refused to provide payment to several former employees, a class action lawsuit is possible. 
  • Another effective alternative to the court system is having an attorney draft a demand letter stating the exact amount the employee is owed. An attorney can also include the policies within the employment contract that were violated by the employer. 

Consult Our Tampa Wage and Hour Attorneys

Whether you are owed unpaid compensation after your employment ended at a company or you believe your company has violated federal wage laws under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), it’s critical that you consult our Tampa overtime lawyers. Wage and hour cases are time-sensitive. In order to ensure your claim remains valid, speak with an attorney today. 

Our attorneys have successfully recovered unpaid wages related to overtime laws, minimum wage requirements, and unpaid wages. Regardless of your type of wage and hour case, when you consult our Tampa wage and hour attorneys, they can evaluate your potential case and determine the best strategy to ensure you are compensated.  

If you would like to speak with a Tampa wage and hour attorney, please contact us today.

Disclaimer: The information contained in this article is for general educational information only. This information does not constitute legal advice, is not intended to constitute legal advice, nor should it be relied upon as legal advice for your specific factual pattern or situation.