When Are Wages Due If an Employee is Terminated, Quits, or Is Laid Off?
In the normal course of your employment you should receive a paycheck at specific intervals, such as every week, every two weeks, or even once a month. What happens, however, to wages due to you if you terminate your employment with the employer? When are wages due if an employee is terminated, quits, or is laid off in Pennsylvania? If you suddenly find yourself in that position, you may need to know what the law says about receipt of your final paycheck.
Fortunately, the issue of final paychecks, along with a variety of other employment related issues, are covered under the Pennsylvania Wage Payment and Collection Law (“WCPL”), which can be found at 43 P.S. § 260.1 et seq.. When you are hired by an employer, the WCPL requires your employer, at the time of hiring, to inform you of the time and place of payment, the rate of pay, and the amount of any fringe benefits or wage supplements to be paid to the employee. In the event that you are terminated, laid off, or you quit employment with your employer down the road, the WCPL requires your employer to pay to you all wages due to you on the next pay period. Specifically, Section 260.5 of the WCPL, states as follows:
“[w]henever an employer separates an employee from the payroll, or whenever an employee quits or resigns his employment, the wages or compensation earned shall become due and payable not later than the next regular payday of his employer on which such wages would otherwise be due and payable. If requested by the employee, such payment shall be made by certified mail.”
The law is very clear on this subject. Despite this, employers often try to put off paying a terminated employee wages due to him or her. Employers offer a number of excuses for why they cannot/will not pay the employee his/her wages. If you are an employee who has been terminated, laid off, or quit and your previous employer appears to be stalling with regard to paying you wages that are rightly due to you, it may be time to file a claim with the Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry.