Dismissal paycheck requirements by state

When dismissing an employee (or when they depart on their own), employers must make sure they know when to:

Stay compliant

While employers often assume they should pay the dismissal paycheck on the company’s next scheduled payroll, it’s often the case that the payroll is scheduled for after the applicable dismissal payment deadline. This can lead employers to unknowingly violate the law.

The consequences of paying a departing employee late can be significant—ranging from penalties imposed by the state, to extra damages paid to the employee, or even criminal consequences in some states. 

Use the table below to help inform you of whether your state has a specific deadline and/or unused vacation pay requirements. 

 

This table was last revised Sept 2023. 

State

Dismissal paycheck deadline(s)

Is there a requirement for paying out unused vacation?  Additional information
Alabama
  • No statute
  • No (unless otherwise stated)
  • An employer’s policy or employee contract governs whether earned, unused vacation is paid upon termination.
Alaska
  • If employee leaves involuntarily: Within 3 working days.
  • If employee leaves voluntarily: Next scheduled payday that is at least 3 days after the employee gives notice.
  • No (unless otherwise stated)
  • An employer’s policy or employee contract governs whether earned, unused vacation is paid upon termination.
Arizona
  • If employee leaves involuntarily: Within 7 working days or the next scheduled payday, whichever is sooner.
  • If employee leaves voluntarily: Next regular payday.
  • No (unless otherwise stated)
  • An employer’s policy or employee contract governs whether earned, unused vacation is paid upon termination.
Arkansas
  • You're required to pay the employee by the next scheduled payday.
  • No (unless otherwise stated)
  • An employer’s policy or employee contract governs whether earned, unused vacation is paid upon termination.
California
  • If employee leaves involuntarily: Immediately.
  • If employee leaves voluntarily: Immediately if they gave at least 72 hours of notice. Payment due within 72 hours if no notice was given.
  • Yes
  • Employers are required to pay employees any accrued, unused vacation time upon termination.
Colorado
  • If employee leaves involuntarily: Immediately, with some exceptions.
  • If employee leaves voluntarily: Next regular payday.
  • Yes
  • Earned vacation time is considered wages required to be paid out upon termination.
Connecticut
  • If employee leaves involuntarily: Next business day.
  • If employee leaves voluntarily: Next scheduled payday.
  • No (unless otherwise stated)
  • An employer’s policy or employee contract governs whether earned, unused vacation is paid upon termination.
Delaware
  • You're required to pay the employee on the next scheduled payday, or within 3 business days, whichever is later.
  • No (unless otherwise stated)
  • An employer’s policy or employee contract governs whether earned, unused vacation is paid upon termination.
Florida
  • No statute
  • No
  • No state statute addresses payment of accrued vacation on termination.
Georgia
  • No statute
  • No 
  • No state statute addresses payment of accrued vacation on termination.
Hawaii
  • If employee leaves involuntarily: You're required to pay the employee on their last day.
  • If employee leaves voluntarily: Next scheduled payday, unless the employee gives at least one pay period’s notice of intention to quit, then you're required to pay the employee on their last day.
  • No (unless otherwise stated)
  • An employer’s policy or employee contract governs whether earned, unused vacation is paid upon termination.
Idaho
  • If employee leaves involuntarily: Next scheduled payday or within 10 business days, whichever is sooner.
    • If employee makes a written request for earlier payment, within 48 hours (excluding weekends & holidays) of receiving the request.
  • If employee leaves voluntarily: Next scheduled payday or within 10 business days, whichever is sooner.
    • If employee makes a written request for earlier payment, within 48 hours (excluding weekends & holidays) of receiving the request.
  • No (unless otherwise stated)
  • An employer’s policy or employee contract governs whether earned, unused vacation is paid upon termination.
Illinois
  • If employee leaves involuntarily: Immediately if possible, but no later than the next scheduled payday.
  • If employee leaves voluntarily: Immediately if possible, but no later than the next scheduled payday.
  • Yes
  • An Illinois company cannot put into place a company policy that does not pay out PTO upon termination.
Indiana
  • You're required to pay the employee by the next scheduled payday.
  • Yes (unless otherwise stated)
  • Accrued vacation pay is considered a form of compensation. An employee may be entitled to accrued unused vacation time if they've met any certain conditions of a company policy or employment contract. 
Iowa
  • You're required to pay the employee on or before the company's next regular payday.
  • No (unless otherwise stated)
  • An employer’s policy or employee contract governs whether earned, unused vacation is paid upon termination.
Kansas
  • You're required to pay the employee on or before the company’s next scheduled payday.
  • No (unless otherwise stated)
  • An employer’s policy or employee contract governs whether earned, unused vacation is paid upon termination.
Kentucky
  • You're required to pay the employee on the next scheduled payday, or within 14 days, whichever is later.
  • No (unless otherwise stated)
  • An employer’s policy or employee contract governs whether earned, unused vacation is paid upon termination.
Louisiana
  • You're required to pay the employee on the next scheduled payday or within 15 days, whichever is sooner.
  • No (unless otherwise stated)
  • An employer’s policy or employee contract governs whether earned, unused vacation is paid upon termination.
Maine
  • You're required to pay the employee on or before the company's next regular payday.
  • If you have less the 10 employees, this may not apply—contact the state directly to confirm this.
  • Yes
  • You're required to pay out all unused PTO with their final paycheck.
Maryland
  • If employee leaves involuntarily: Next scheduled payday.
  • If employee leaves voluntarily: Next scheduled payday.
  • Yes (unless otherwise stated)
  • Employers are required to pay employees any accrued, unused vacation time upon termination unless the employer's written policy states that vacation time will be forfeited upon termination.
Massachusetts
  • If employee leaves involuntarily: You're required to pay the employee on their last day.
  • If employee leaves voluntarily: Next scheduled payday. 
  • Yes
  • Employers are required to pay employees any accrued, unused vacation time upon termination.
Michigan
  • You're required to pay the employee on or before the company’s next scheduled payday.
  • No (unless otherwise stated)
  • An employer’s policy or employee contract governs whether earned, unused vacation is paid upon termination.
Minnesota
  • If employee leaves involuntarily: You're required to pay the employee within 24 hours of their demand for wages.
  • If employee leaves voluntarily: You're required to pay the employee by the next scheduled payday that's more than 5 days and less than 20 days from their last day.
  • No (unless otherwise stated)
  • An employer’s policy or employee contract governs whether earned, unused vacation is paid upon termination.
Mississippi
  • No statute
  • No 
  • No state statute addresses payment of accrued vacation on termination.
Missouri
  • If employee leaves involuntarily: You're required to pay the employee on their last day.
  • If employee leaves voluntarily: Next scheduled payday.
  • No
  • Employers are not required to pay employees for earned, unused vacation upon termination.
Montana
  • If employee leaves involuntarily: Immediately unless you have a pre-existing, written policy that extends the timing of final payment. Written policy cannot exceed the next scheduled payday or 15 days, whichever is earlier.
  • If employee leaves voluntarily: Next scheduled payday or 15 days, whichever is earlier.
  • No (unless otherwise stated)
  • An employer’s policy or employee contract governs whether earned, unused vacation is paid upon termination.
Nebraska
  • You're required to pay the employee on the company's next regular payday or within two weeks, whichever is sooner.
  • Yes
  • All earned and unused vacation and PTO benefits must be paid to the employee with their final wages.

Nevada

  • If employee leaves involuntarily: Immediately.
  • If employee leaves voluntarily: Next scheduled payday or 7 days, whichever is earlier. 
  • No (unless otherwise stated)
  • An employer’s policy or employee contract governs whether earned, unused vacation is paid upon termination.
New Hampshire
  • If employee leaves involuntarily: Within 72 hours. 
  • If employee leaves voluntarily: Next scheduled payday. If the employee gives at least one pay period’s notice, then within 72 hours.
  • No
  • You can pay out unused PTO if you'd like, but you aren't required to.
New Jersey
  • If employee leaves involuntarily: Next scheduled payday.
  • If employee leaves voluntarily: Next scheduled payday.
  • No (unless otherwise stated)
  • An employer’s policy or employee contract governs whether earned, unused vacation is paid upon termination.
New Mexico

 

  • If employee leaves involuntarily: You're required to pay them within 5 days of their last day.
  • If employee leaves voluntarily: You're required to pay them on or before the company's next regular payday.
  • No (unless otherwise stated)
  • An employer’s policy or employee contract governs whether earned, unused vacation is paid upon termination.
New York
  • You're required to pay the employee by the next scheduled payday.
  • Yes
  • An employer must pay the employee for accrued unused vacation if there's no written forfeit policy. 
North Carolina
  • You're required to pay the employee by the next scheduled payday.
  • Yes
  • An employer must pay the employee for accrued unused vacation if there's no written forfeit policy.
North Dakota
  • You're required to pay the employee by the next scheduled payday.
  • Yes, in most cases
  • Must pay accrued time off unless employee is leaving voluntary and all of the following apply:
    • Employee has been employed for less than 1 year
    • Policy states that there is a limitation of pay of accrued time off
    • The employee gave the employer less than 5 days verbal or written notice
Ohio
  • You're required to pay the employee by the next scheduled payday. 
  • No (unless otherwise stated)
  • An employer’s policy or employee contract governs whether earned, unused vacation is paid upon termination.
Oklahoma
  • You're required to pay the employee by the next scheduled payday.
  • No (unless otherwise stated)
  • An employer’s policy or employee contract governs whether earned, unused vacation is paid upon termination.
Oregon

 

  • If employee leaves involuntarily: You're required to pay them by the end of the next business day.
  • If employee leaves voluntarily: You're required to pay them on their last day if they quit with at least 48 hours’ notice, unless that day is a weekend or holiday. In that case, their check is due on the next business day. If the employee quits with less than 48 hours’ notice, then you’re required to pay them on the next scheduled payday or within 5 business days, whichever comes first.
  • No (unless otherwise stated)
  • An employer’s policy or employee contract governs whether earned, unused vacation is paid upon termination. 
Pennsylvania

 

  • You're required to pay the employee by the next scheduled payday.
  • No (unless otherwise stated)
  • An employer’s policy or employee contract governs whether earned, unused vacation is paid upon termination.
Rhode Island

 

  • You're required to pay the employee by the next scheduled payday. 
  • Sometimes
  • If the employee has been working for the company for more than one year, you're required to pay out all unused PTO with their final paycheck.
  • If the employee has been working for the company for less than one year, you aren't required to pay out unused PTO. 
South Carolina
  • If employee leaves involuntarily: Next scheduled payday, but not to exceed 30 days.
  • If employee leaves voluntarily: Next scheduled payday, but not to exceed 30 days.
  • No (unless otherwise stated)
  • An employer’s policy or employee contract governs whether earned, unused vacation is paid upon termination.
South Dakota
  • If employee leaves involuntarily: Next scheduled payday.
  • If employee leaves voluntarily: Next scheduled payday.
  • No (unless otherwise stated)
  • An employer’s policy or employee contract governs whether earned, unused vacation is paid upon termination
Tennessee
  • If employee leaves involuntarily: Next scheduled payday or within 21 days, whichever is later.
  • If employee leaves voluntarily: Next scheduled payday or within 21 days, whichever is later.
  • No (unless otherwise stated)
  • An employer’s policy or employee contract governs whether earned, unused vacation is paid upon termination.
Texas
  • If employee leaves involuntarily: Within 6 calendar days.
  • If employee leaves voluntarily: Next scheduled payday.
  • No (unless otherwise stated)
  • An employer’s policy or employee contract governs whether earned, unused vacation is paid upon termination.
Utah
  • If employee leaves involuntarily: Within 24 hours.
  • If employee leaves voluntarily: Next scheduled payday.
  • No (unless otherwise stated)
  • An employer’s policy or employee contract governs whether earned, unused vacation is paid upon termination. 
Vermont
  • If employee leaves involuntarily: Within 72 hours.
  • If employee leaves voluntarily: Next scheduled payday.
  • No (unless otherwise stated)
  • An employer’s policy or employee contract governs whether earned, unused vacation is paid upon termination.
Virginia
  • You're required to pay the employee by the next scheduled payday. 
  • No (unless otherwise stated)
  • An employer’s policy or employee contract governs whether earned, unused vacation is paid upon termination.
Washington
  • If employee leaves involuntarily: Next scheduled payday.
  • If employee leaves voluntarily: Next scheduled payday.
  • There are some exceptions for specific industries.
  • No (unless otherwise stated)
  • An employer’s policy or employee contract governs whether earned, unused vacation is paid upon termination.
Washington DC

 

  • If employee leaves involuntarily, you're required to pay them the day after their last day.

  • If employee leaves voluntarily, you're required to pay them on or before the company's next regular payday or within 7 days of their last day—whichever is sooner.

  • Yes (unless otherwise stated)
  • You're required to pay out all unused PTO with their final paycheck unless your company has a written policy that indicates unused PTO will not be paid out when an employee leaves the company.
West Virginia
  • You're required to pay the employee by the next scheduled payday.
  • No (unless otherwise stated)
  • An employer’s policy or employee contract governs whether earned, unused vacation is paid upon termination.
Wisconsin
  • You're required to pay the employee by the next scheduled payday.
  • Yes (unless otherwise stated)
  • You're required to pay out unused PTO if your company's PTO policy doesn't include a written PTO forfeit policy. If your PTO policy includes forfeiture, then  you aren't required to pay out unused PTO.
Wyoming
  • You're required to pay the employee by the next scheduled payday. 
  • No (unless otherwise stated)
  • An employer’s policy or employee contract governs whether earned, unused vacation is paid upon termination.