If you quit in Minnesota, you have to be paid on the next regular payday. If the payday is 4 days or less after your last day of work, your check can be issued the following payday. No matter what, you have to be paid in 20 days of your last day of work.
If you are fired or laid off, you should be paid all of your final wages on your next regularly scheduled pay day. You have to paid earlier (within 24 hours) after you ask in writing for your final pay (go to "What Can I Do If My Boss Won't Give Me My Final Pay" for a sample letter you can use).
You have to be paid the same way you were when you were still working. It is the worker's decision if they want the final pay check to be mailed.
If you ask for your final pay check to be mailed to you, the day it is postmarked is considered the day you were paid.
Commissions that are actually earned before the end of employment, are due at the same time as wages. Other commissions have to be paid when the sale has gone through, according to the company policy.
If you were entrusted with money or property, the employer has 10 extra days to audit the accounts before you are paid.
Special rules for certain workers:
If you have to sleep somewhere different while you are working because of the kind of work, you have to be paid within 24 hours. It doesn't matter if you quit, were fired, or the job ended. Examples of "transitory' work are: construction, paving, repair, or maintenance of roads or highways, sewers or ditches, clearing land, or the production of forest product.
If you don't get your pay in 24 hours, your boss has to pay your expenses for staying away from home while you wait for your pay. After 2 business days, your boss has to pay two times your average daily pay for every day from your last day of work until you get your full pay.
Migrant farm workers have to be paid within 5 days of when they quit.
Public employers which have to get spending approval. The required payment is within 24 hours of the first regular or special meeting after the employee is fired.
Also, private employers with more than 100 employees have to give workers 60 days notice before closing a workplace or laying off 50 or more workers. Workers can be paid for the days that they should have had notice. This is called Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification (WARN). Some states have extra protections for more workers. Go to the "Big Layoffs & Bankrupt Bosses" link in the Resource Box on this page for more information.
Do I have a right to severance pay? Most workers do not have a right to severance pay, unless there is an employment contract or a union contract that says so. Sometimes you can argue for severance pay if there is a company policy or practice of giving it. If a large group of workers is being laid off, you should get 60 days notice or pay for any of those days you didn't have notice. See the link to "Big Layoffs and Bankrupt Bosses" in the Resource Box on this page for more information.
Do I get paid for my accrued vacation time when I leave a job? You only have a right to be paid your accrued vacation time if there is a company policy (usually in the handbook) or a union contract that says workers will be paid accrued vacation time when they leave. If you are not paid according to the policy, you can go to Small Claims Court (Conciliation Court).
If you think you may be leaving your job soon find out the specific rules about accrued vacation. Sometimes there is a rule that workers will be paid their accrued vacation if they give notice before they quit. Read the employee handbook, ask Human Resource what the specific rules are, and ask other employees if the company has paid other employees their accrued time when they left. Decide if you should use up your accrued time before you leave.
Can my boss hold back my paycheck? No. No matter what, it's your money. Your boss can't hold your check until you return company property, until you finish a job, or any other reason.
HR may tell a worker that "when you drop off the equipment, you can collect your final check." That suggests you can't have your check unless you return the company property -- but you can. Even so, it's smart to return company property. In the future another company may be calling to ask for a reference (even if you didn't tell them to). If you have something that's worth a lot, the company could also take you to small claims court to get it back.
What are my rights if I have a union? If you have union protection, often the law requires following the union contract (or an employment contract) because you have more rights than non-union workers. Your union can help protect your rights more effectively than the law. Contact your union steward or representative for help getting your final pay.
What rights do independent contractors have to get a final check? Independent contractors can't file wage claims. They can take someone who doesn't pay them to small claims court (see the page on "What Can I Do if My Boss Won't Give Me My Money"). If you are just called independent contractors so your boss can avoid the laws protecting you, you may be able to prove that you are really an employee (NOT an independent contractor) and win your rights and sometimes back pay, unemployment, or workers comp.
The law: Final pay for worker who quits: Minnesota Statutes 181.14
Final pay for discharged worker: Minnesota Statutes 181.13
Vacation pay at termination of employment: Minnesota Statutes 181.74
Final pay must be paid in 24 hours to "transitory' workers: Minnesota Statutes 181.11
Who enforces the law: Minnesota Department of Labor and Industry, Labor Standards (well, they don't enforce it, exactly, but they try to help workers -- read more under "What Can I Do If My Boss Won't Give My My Final Pay?")