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When should you get your final paycheck?

When leaving a job, you have a right to a final paycheck for the hours that you worked. If you're leaving the middle of a pay period, that could be just a few days. If your payments are always staggered by a pay period—meaning you didn't get paid for the first two weeks until four weeks had gone by, and were then paid every two weeks—you may even have almost a month's worth of money coming.

Whether you're fired or you decide to quit on your own, you still have a right to this money. Always remember that it is yours, as you already earned it, and you have to be paid.

In some states, the laws differ a bit depending on how you leave. If you quit, for instance, you may just get paid on the next upcoming payday. If you are fired, some states mandate that you get all money owed to you immediately. This could have been helpful back when employees picked up paper checks or cash all of the time, meaning they wouldn't need to come back in after being fired, but it means less in today's world of direct deposit payments.

In Michigan, the law is the same no matter what. When you're fired or you decide to quit, you just get paid on the next payday to catch you up on what is owed. This is true no matter why you're leaving the company. Even if the owner is unhappy that you quit, for example, you still must be paid.

If your rights have been violated and you haven't gotten a final paycheck, it's time to look into your legal options.

Source: FIndLaw, "Final Paycheck Laws by State," accessed April 07, 2016

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