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Can an Employer Withhold My Paycheck If I Quit?

Can my employer withhold my paycheck if I quit? It’s a valid question and a genuine concern when you rely on every dollar you earn. Unfortunately, many employees suffer from unfair wage practices that cause anxiety, fear, and frustration.

According to federal law, employers don’t have to give employees their final paycheck immediately after quitting. However, the employer must pay an employee’s paycheck on the next regular payday following the last period the employee worked. State law may shorten this time period. Employers are not allowed to withhold wages from employees when they quit.

When Can My Employer Withhold My Paycheck?

Employers are obligated to pay employees for all time worked under state and federal law. If your employer has withheld your paycheck, you may have the right to pursue legal action to recover your unpaid wages.

Employees should also be paid earned vacation time according to the employer’s policies and state laws. If your employer withholds your paycheck, ensure you have pay stubs, paychecks, and other relevant pay information that could support your unpaid wage claim.

Can My Employer Withhold My Paycheck According to State Law?

Strict federal laws regulate the payroll process, but many states supplement federal law with state-specific laws. Because states have different rules regarding wages and employment, it’s crucial for employees to consult an experienced employment attorney when recovering unpaid wages.

In Kansas, employers generally can’t withhold employee paychecks if the employee quits. The Kansas Wage Payment Act (KWPA) governs the timing and requirements for final employee wage payments. An employer must pay an employee’s final wages no later than the next regular payday, following the end of the pay period in which the employee quit.

No KWPA law stipulates that employers must pay employees vacation or sick days, but an employer may have an established company policy explaining such matters. The KWPA also doesn’t apply to independent contractors.

According to the KWPA, there are three circumstances when an employer may withhold, deduct, or divert an employee’s paycheck.

1. State or federal law may require or empower an employer to withhold, deduct, or divert an employee’s paycheck.

2. Employers may withhold, deduct, or divert an employee’s paycheck when the deductions are for medical, surgical, or hospital care that offers no financial benefit to the employer. These actions must be done openly, clearly, and in due course, and the employer must have them recorded in the company’s books.

3. If an employer has a signed authorization from the employee for deductions for a lawful purpose that accrued benefit to the employee.

Many states such as California require employers pay employees their final paychecks on the day they leave employment or soon thereafter. You should consult an employment attorney if your employer refuses to pay you your last paycheck.

Other Wage Violations

An employer withholding a paycheck is not the only illegal wage practice we encounter at Rowdy Meeks Legal Group LLC.

Here are some common cases of wage violations we assess:

  • Working “off the clock.” Your employer can’t ask you to work before or after your official work shift. If your hours are being incorrectly recorded, you may be missing out on overtime pay owed to you.
  • Misclassification as an exempt employee. If your employer has misclassified you as a salaried employee when you are, in fact, an hourly employee, you may be owed overtime pay.
  • Moving worked hours from one week to another. If your employer is moving your weekly hours worked, the employer may try to avoid paying you the overtime you are owed.
  • Automatic Deductions.  Your employer cannot automatically deduct 30 or 60 minutes from your work time unless you receive a meal period completely free from all work.  Your employer owes you for all time automatically deducted if you work any time during the meal period.
  • Regular Rate Violations.  The employer must include all bonuses, commissions, spiffs, and other like compensation into employees’ regular rates of pay for overtime pay calculations.  Your employer violates the wage laws by failing to include such compensation into your overtime pay calculations.

Rowdy Meeks Legal Group LLC: Nationally Recognized Employment Attorneys

You deserve to be paid fairly for the work you have done. At Rowdy Meeks Legal Group LLC, we offer a free case evaluation to help assess whether your unpaid wage claim is valid.

Contact us if you have questions like, “Can my employer withhold my paycheck?” or “How can I recover my unpaid wages?”.