How long can an employer hold last paycheck after termination?

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How long can an employer hold last paycheck after termination?

I was fired after being an employee for a year. Fired on Tuesday morning; payday is Friday. They said they’ll mail me my last paycheck. That goes beyond 72 hours. Plus the days it will take to get to me in the mail.

Asked on July 14, 2011 under Employment Labor Law, Iowa

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

The  law in Iowa says that in the event of termination, the employer shall pay the employee his or her final wages by the next scheduled payday. (See, for example, Iowa Code Ann. § 91A.4.) This means that if Friday is the day they would normally pay you (had you not been fired), then Friday is the day they must pay you the paycheck. As long as they are sending you the wages by the regular means they normally would have on that date, the employer would seem to be in compliance. Even if normally you would actually have the money in hand on Friday, but now it won't have it until, say, Monday or Tuesday, as a practical matter you can't do anything about it: if you sued the employer, for example, there really aren't any damages or compensation to collect--let alone that you wouldn't even make it into court before you had the money. So if they send you the check on Friday, it appears that's what you can expect.


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