There are statutes in the United States that govern how an employer should pay an employee’s last remaining wages. There are regulations that specify when a final paycheck must be paid and the types of deductions an employer is permitted by law to subtract from it.
Aside from the fact that federal law establishes terms and conditions under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) of the United States Department of Labor, individual state laws also establish the prerequisites for sending last paychecks.
When you leave your job, whether you decided to resign or were fired, you are supposed to be compensated for the hours you worked. However, Florida employees should be aware that they are not required to be compensated on the day of their separation.
An employer in the sunshine state is not mandated to send out your final paycheck as soon as you work your last day. Rather, you are obligated by law to receive or be paid your outstanding balance within a short time – and, most often, within the normal payroll practices.
However, if the payday for your recent pay period passes without you getting your paycheck, you may file a claim/lawsuit for your unpaid wages.
The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), as stated by the Department of Labor, offers protection to employees or individuals who are owed “back pay.” Back pay in Florida could be in the form of the last paycheck, or it could be any outstanding wages from what an employee ought to have received when their paycheck is for less, which could consist of unpaid overtime.
Once you are owed back wages, you can seek them via the Secretary of Labor or by filing a personal civil suit against the employer.
Important Florida Labor Laws Concerning Final Paychecks
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Duration to Pay Final Paycheck in Florida
As previously stated, there are no codes of practice in Florida that legally mandates employers in the state to provide final checks under a stipulated time frame.
The final paychecks are meant to be forwarded on or before the next designated payday that marks the end of the next standard payment period, according to the Department of Labor. However, this is not required or followed through by all employers in the state.
Most often, the employment contract will feature an employer’s own length of time for issuing an employee their final paycheck and this may fall outside of the next scheduled pay period.
Note that this may be enforced only if it does not surpass the state’s laws on the maximum stipulated timeline between paychecks. In the sunshine state, the maximum stay is 30 days. So it is advised that you start on time to seek assistance in finding your missing check before the due date.
Ways to Send The Final Paycheck
There are no regulations or laws in Florida governing how and when to send a final paycheck, it could be paid by direct deposit (if an employee in time past has permitted direct deposit for wages), check, or payroll pay card, either on-site or mailed.
Note that employers are not always obliged to pay a terminated employee through the use of direct deposit on his or her final paycheck. Employers must therefore make sure that their final paycheck method comprises how, when, and where employees can be terminated.
Withholding Part of a Final Paycheck
Workers are entitled to their full wages, along with overtime pay, for the work they have already completed, and this has to be at the rate agreed to in the employment contract.
Even so, an employer may hold back a portion of an employee’s final paycheck as long as the employee has given consent to the reduction, or for legitimate or appropriate deductions, such as taxes or a court-ordered payment. Employers may not be permitted to remove much money from the paycheck that the pay rate drops under the minimum wage.
Paying for Unused Vacation Days in a Final Paycheck
Whenever an employee resigns or is fired in the sunshine state, they desire to know if state law mandates employers to compensate them for unused vacation days in the final paycheck. Employers in Florida are not mandated by law to make available any form of paid vacation days.
If an employee’s employment contract includes a contractual agreement that features paid vacation, the employee can prove that the paid vacation days had been their compensation package. Once the employee’s argument is fruitful, the unused periods will be included as additional pay in their final paycheck.
Unclaimed Paycheck Laws In Florida
It is critical to note that employers in Florida cannot retain a paycheck that an ex-employee does not take. Even after a check is returned, the employer has no legal right to cancel it and hold the funds. Unclaimed paychecks in Florida are liable to ‘escheat’ laws as unclaimed property under the laws of the state.
Employers are expected to comply with Florida laws by submitting unclaimed paychecks to the state. Employers who fail to comply with this legislation may have to contend with fines and penalties. Here are the requirements for Florida’s unclaimed paycheck laws:
- Employers are mandated in the state to maintain a record of the names and last documented addresses of payees for five years upon reporting to the state.
- Employers in Florida are expected to file a report and deposit unclaimed wages on an annual basis. Unclaimed wages should be reported by Nov. 1 of each year for all wages that were not claimed as of June 30 of that year.
There are no specific laws in Florida governing the timeline of an employee’s final paycheck. But if an employee has a problem obtaining their final paycheck, they should reach out to a Florida wage and hour lawyer, who can give them answers and advice depending on the circumstances of their situation.