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New Job? Tips for Giving Notice and Getting Your Final Paycheck

notifyIf you have a get a new job here are some tips for giving notice and receiving a final paycheck from your old job

People leave jobs all the time. The consistency and commitment to an employer that was once expected is no longer the norm, in part because employers are not as dedicated to their employees anymore. The workforce has changed dramatically over the last half-century or so and it’s expected that most American workers will change jobs several times throughout their career, even if they remain in the same industry.

But despite it being expected that you won’t work for the same company for decades, it’s still important to go about leaving your current job properly. Doing so reflects favorably upon your professional reputation and it improves the odds that your former employer will honor their obligations to you without too much hassle.

What should you know about leaving your current job?

Notifying Your Employer of Your Intention to Leave

Both employer and employee are free to terminate their working relationship at any time under at-will employment arrangements. This means you are not legally required to give notice that you intend to leave. However, it’s considered professionally courteous to provide at least two weeks’ notice that you’ll be leaving.

Your responsibilities during this period will depend on your current role in the company and your relationship with your employer.

Most employers understand that it’s common for employees to move on, but some react poorly. The important thing to know is that you are under no obligation to remain in your current job if you feel you are being misused or mistreated. It’s rare for an employer to terminate an employee after they’ve given notice because of the obligations it could trigger, including the need to compensate that employee with unemployment benefits, but it can occur.

In most cases, giving notice and leaving a job will go fairly smoothly, but you are within your rights to take action if your former employer oversteps its boundaries.

Payment of Final Wages

One of the most common issues to arise when an employee leaves a company is a problem with the payment of final wages.

In most cases, your employer will be legally obligated to pay you within a certain period after your final day of work. In some states, employers must issue payment within just a few hours or days of your last day of work.

In New York, all money due to a former employee must be paid on the next regularly scheduled payday. Employees who have earned sales commissions must receive that money within five business days of their final day of work.

There might also be restrictions on how your former employer can issue payment to you. Some direct deposit arrangements are immediately terminated upon your last day, so your former employer will need to pay you via check. You might still be able to receive payment via direct deposit if you give written permission to your former employer to release your wages into your bank account.

Your final paycheck will include the standard deductions for payroll taxes and it can still be garnished if you’re dealing with debt collection efforts. However, voluntary deductions might need to be adjusted depending on your situation. When deductions are taken from a final paycheck, final wages must meet or exceed minimum wage requirements.

The final paycheck you receive from your former employer must include all wages due to you. This includes any accrued vacation or time-off pay provided you met your obligations under the company’s policy.

Your employer’s legal obligation regarding pay is to honor all state and federal laws, as well as what is outlined in the company policy.

What Should I Do If I’m Not Paid My Final Paycheck?

If you leave a job and you do not receive what you are owed, you should contact your former employer in writing to request the payment. Should the company refuse to comply with your request, you should contact the Department of Labor and speak to them about filing a wage claim.

For more information on this process, review "How to File a Complaint"How to File a Complaint" on the US Department of Labor’s website.

You also have a right to file a lawsuit against your former employer, but you must do so within the statute of limitations in your state. In some instances, an employer who does not comply with its legal obligations to pay former employees can be forced to pay penalties in addition to the wages owed.

In an ideal world, moving from one job to the next opportunity will go smoothly and you’ll leave your current employer on good terms. Unfortunately, this isn’t always the case. Should you encounter a problem with the payment of final wages or any other issues once you’ve decided to leave a job, we can help. Contact the NY Employment Law attorneys at Borrelli & Associates, P.L.L.C. to schedule a free consultation.

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