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Can My Employer Keep My Last Paycheck If I Quit without Notice?

Employment Law / March 17, 2022

If you have left a job without giving notice, you may be wondering what happens with your final paycheck and any benefits your employer was providing at the time of your employment. It’s essential to understand your rights as a former employee and your previous employer’s responsibility after leaving your position voluntarily. An employment attorney may help you obtain any wages that are wrongfully withheld from you. Continue reading to discover more about your rights and what to expect with a final paycheck after leaving a job without giving notice.

What Are My Rights as a Former Employee of a Company in Missouri?

There are many reasons why an employee may need to leave a position without notice despite a standard two weeks that is expected from most companies and businesses. Regardless of the situation, every employee has the right to receive payment for their completed work. An employer cannot withhold your final paycheck even if you have left a job voluntarily without notice.

Federal Requirements and Missouri Law for Final Paychecks

According to the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) of 1938, an employer must pay their employees for their hours worked. However, there is no specificity that it needs to be paid out immediately. Many employers have their rules and regulations clearly outlined for new hires to understand their policies upon termination or voluntary leave. Many employees must wait for their pay period pay date to receive their final earnings.

Under Missouri law, if an employee is fired or terminated from a position, the employer is legally required to provide payment right away. Employees who quit a job without notice are entitled to receive payment following the pay period schedule during their employment. Missouri law does not have any regulations indicating a specific time frame to expect payment in these cases. Federal law requires an employer to give an employee a final paycheck. If they fail, the former employee may pursue payment through legal action. There are penalties for any employee who attempts to withhold from paying an employee with a legal cause or valid reasoning.

What Should I Expect in My Final Paycheck?

When you leave behind a position without giving notice, you may wonder what happens to any benefits such as vacation time, hours accrued for paid time off, and insurance plans. Many companies clearly outline their policies upon the termination of an employee or resignation, with or without notice.

You may not be entitled to your accrued vacation time if you do not give your employer a formal notice of two weeks, depending on the company’s policies. This differs from your regular pay and overtime wages that you earned before quitting, as you are required to receive payment for those wages. Your final check may include sick pay and accrued vacation time if it aligns with your company’s policies upon quitting a job.

After your employment with a company, you can expect your benefits to be terminated. That means that any benefits you receive as an employee will end once your employment is terminated, whether at will or not. Employers must keep records of your employment, payroll, and the end of your employment.

Missouri Requirements for Unclaimed Checks

Many employees receive payment through direct deposit. However, employers are not obligated to pay an employee their final paycheck through direct deposit. If an employee does not collect their last paycheck after quitting, employers must keep a log or record of the name, addresses, and forms of contact for that employee for up to five years after their employment period. Employers must report any unclaimed wages annually, and they should keep a log of every attempt made to send payment.

Steps to Take If Your Employer Withholds Your Final Paycheck

If you have recently quit a job and your employer has failed to provide you with your last paycheck that includes your rightfully earned wages, you have the right to seek compensation, including through the help of a Kansas City employment lawyer.

What to do if your former employer withholds your final paycheck:

  • Contact the Department of Labor’s Wage and Labor Division
  • Keep a record of your timesheets and pay stubs
  • Contact an Employment Lawyer to pursue payment through legal action

Any employer that withholds a final paycheck from an employee is breaking the law and subject to penalties and a lawsuit if applicable. Depending on the amount owed to you, you may pursue a case in circuit court or small claims court to receive payment for your earned but unpaid wages. At Hollis Law Firm, our legal team is available to help you retrieve the wages you have earned.

Call Hollis Law Firm for an Expert Kansas City Attorney to Help You Understand Your Rights

It may be very stressful and financially troubling to deal with a former employer on your own when they are wrongfully withholding your earnings. According to federal law, you have the right to receive payment of all earned wages regardless of how your employment ends. Contact a skilled employment attorney at Hollis Law Firm by filling out a contact form or calling (800) 701-3672 to schedule a free consultation.