A person may be let go from a job for a number of valid reasons, but when a person is fired because of a disability, gender, age, or race, there may be grounds for a wrongful termination lawsuit.
Those who are wrongfully terminated sometimes have difficulty getting their final paychecks and may not be aware that Texas law actually establishes a deadline for employers to provide the last paycheck.
Attorney Dan A. Atkerson explains Texas employment law and when to expect a final paycheck to clients in the Carrollton, TX area. If you are having difficulty obtaining your final paycheck, you are encouraged to contact Mr. Atkerson to learn more about your options under Texas law.
Texas Payday Law Establishes Timing of Final Paychecks
Final paychecks to employees in Carrollton and the entire state of Texas must be paid in accordance with Texas law. According to the Texas Workforce Commission, the Texas Payday Law establishes the timing of final paychecks as follows:
- Within six calendar days of discharge: If an employee is fired, laid off, or involuntarily discharged from his or her job, the employer must provide the final paycheck within six calendar days of letting the employee go.
- With the next scheduled payday after resignation: If an employee voluntarily ends his or her employment, whether resigning, quitting, or retiring, the final paycheck is due at the time of the next regularly scheduled payday occurring after the date of voluntary resignation.
- Fringe benefits may be payable under a written policy: In many cases, fringe benefits and other payments not included in regular wages, such as bonuses and commissions, must be paid per the payment deadlines explained above. However, an exception is made if an employer's wage agreement or policy relating to such payments outlines a different payout schedule. In such cases, fringe benefits and other payments listed in the wage agreement or policy are paid according to the agreement or policy.
Final Pay Should Not Be Withheld
The Texas Workforce Commission further states that an employer cannot legally hold a final paycheck past the applicable deadline for an employee's rule violations, failure to sign timesheets, or failure to return company property, among other things.
Texas law requires that if the employer knows what a discharged employee's wage should be, it must be paid per the deadlines described above.
In the event an employee fails to return company property, a wage deduction may be an option for the employer. However, the employee should receive the remainder of his or her final pay within six days of termination or with the next scheduled payday after his or her resignation.
Why Might an Employer Delay Payment of Final Wages?
Employers may try to delay the payment of a former employee's wages. Sometimes, the delay is not malicious, but caused by an employer's lack of money to pay wages. This is more common with small businesses.
Other, more unscrupulous, reasons an employer might delay payment include:
- Final paycheck is being held to pressure an employee: An employer may withhold a final paycheck as a means to pressure an employee to do something the employer wants, such as return company equipment or sign a waiver.
- Final paycheck withheld in retribution: An employer may try to withhold a final paycheck in retribution for something the employer didn't like the employee doing. This may include an employee leaving to work for a competitor or for whistleblowing.
Taking Action When Employers Don't Pay Final Wages
Texas law requires that employers pay final wages within specific deadlines. When these deadlines are not met, an employment law attorney can help.
Attorney Dan A. Atkerson has been serving Carrollton and surrounding areas for over 30 years, helping clients stand up against their former employers to get the wages there are owed.
Contact the Law Offices of Dan A. Atkerson
To learn more about your legal options in obtaining your final paycheck or other employment concerns, we welcome you to call (214) 383-3606 to schedule a consultation with employment law attorney Dan A. Atkerson.