What is an employee’s right to collect their final paycheck?

UPDATED: May 5, 2011

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What is an employee’s right to collect their final paycheck?

I was fired from a job and my former employer told me they would mail me my check. When should I expect that check, when I know it was it was sitting right there? Is it a law to hold my check? I just did not show up for work because I had to work at my other job. What can be done?

Asked on May 5, 2011 under Employment Labor Law, Maryland


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

In Maryland, the law is that a terminated employee must receive his or her check by the time he or she would have been paid next had he or she not been terminated--i.e. by the next scheduled payday. If you were paid by direct deposit, it should have been directed deposited; if you were paid in person (handed a check) and you were supposed to show up to pick it up but did not, the employer did nothing wrong--though you should be be able to contact the employer and arrange a new date or time to pick it up, or even have them mail the check to you. If they refuse to give you the check, try contacting the Maryland Department of Labor, who may be able to help you get your final pay. Good luck.

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