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Final paycheck rules exist to ensure that employers follow the correct legal process when an employee quits or is let go from a company. This includes making sure that the final paycheck is paid within the right timeframe and that it includes all unpaid wages that the employee is owed.
Across New York State, final paycheck laws are designed to provide some stability during the often stressful process of leaving an employer. Knowing your rights, and understanding how they could be enforced, is a useful starting point for ensuring you are paid what you are owed.
New York law (New York Labor Laws, § 191) on final paychecks says that an employer must pay all unpaid wages no later than the regular payday for the period when the employee was fired.
There are also special rules (New York Labor Laws, § 191 C) for the payment of sales commission. If a sales representative is fired, all earned commission must be paid as follows:
If you quit your role with an employer, New York law says you should receive your final paycheck on or before the ordinary, scheduled payday for the pay period when you put in your resignation. An employee can choose to have the final paycheck paid by mail.
In New York, there are strict rules covering the deductions (New York Labor Laws, § 193) that an employer is legally allowed to make from an employee’s wages. In general, an employer is not allowed to make unauthorized deductions from a paycheck, except where it is for the purposes of federal or state tax, or a court-ordered payment (such as child support).
Other deductions – such as for insurance premiums or charitable donations – can be made where the employee has given their written consent.
If an employer has failed to pay a final paycheck before the legal deadline, an employee - or their representative – is able to file a claim (New York Labor Laws, § 196 A) with the New York State Department of Labor’s Division of Labor Standards. Their complaint will be investigated and a remedy might be ordered.
If an employee is successful in their claim, they may receive their unpaid wages, as well as potential damages and legal costs. In addition, an employer might have to be pay a penalty (New York Labor Laws, § 197) for failing to pay the final paycheck correctly.
Many people will find that consulting an experienced wage and hour attorney provides the level of support and advice they need when dealing with the particular facts of their situation.
This article is intended to be helpful and informative. But even common legal matters can become complex and stressful. A qualified wage and hour lawyer can address your particular legal needs, explain the law, and represent you in court. Take the first step now and contact a local wage and hour attorney to discuss your specific legal situation.