Ask an Employment Lawyer: How Soon After Termination Must an Employee Be Paid?

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If you’ve had your employment terminated by your employer, then you’re still entitled to a final paycheck, which you may possibly get alongside or as part of a severance package. This final paycheck must be paid at the time of termination. If you’re not paid, then you should get an employment lawyer involved to help you seek out the wages you’re entitled to.


What Should I Do If I’m Not Paid After My Termination?

If your employer doesn’t pay you what you’re due at the time of your dismissal, then you must contact them via a certified mail return receipt requested. Here is where you’ll request the wages you’re due. It should be a straightforward process if your employer responds and pays you accordingly.


What If My Employer Doesn’t Pay Within 7 Days?

If your employer doesn’t pay your final wages within seven days, then they’ll owe you up to 60 days further wages until the day you’re fully paid up. This is why it’s in your employer’s best interests to pay you within the initial seven days after your termination, and most of the time, they will. Unfortunately, if they don’t, then you’re entitled to hire private legal aid.


What Can an Employment Lawyer Do If My Former Employer Won’t Pay?

When you consult with an employment attorney, they’ll ask for details about your case to determine what the right course of action is for you. Employment lawyers in Kansas City MO understand the laws and exactly how they apply to your situation. If you haven’t been paid up and it doesn’t look like your former employer is going to pay any time soon, then they’ll advise you to take legal action.


If your former employee owes you less than $5,000, then they are likely to advise you to take them to Small Claims Court. Many people tend to represent themselves in Small Claims Court, but depending on the severity of your situation, the lawyer you consult may advise that you hire them to represent you during your case.


What If I’m Owed More Than $5,000?

If the former employee owes you more than $5,000 based on your final paycheck and any extra they have to pay because they haven’t paid you up on time, then your attorney will advise you to pursue a private right of action. Your attorney will advise you on how to do this best.


In some cases, you don’t actually have to enter the courtroom once you’ve begun the legal process. Your former employer may pay up as soon as they’re served and realize how serious the situation has become. However, your attorney will be fully ready and able to represent you if this case needs to go to trial.


Does My Employer Have To Give Me a Severance Package?

Your employer has no legal obligation to offer you a severance package when they terminate your employment if it isn’t company policy to do so. That said, it may be in your contract that you will be entitled to a severance package if you ever lose your job. This means they are legally bound to offer you a severance package, and the details of it may be in the contract you signed when you began working for the company.


If your employer is refusing to pay you what you’re entitled to based on your contract, then an employment attorney can help with that, too. If your employer has yet to pay you your final wages, then your attorney may advise that you pursue both the severance package pay and the wages you’re owed together. Sometimes your final wages are included as part of this package. In other cases, it may be a better idea to pursue these as separate issues.


Can I Sue for Severance Pay and Final Pay If My Employment Was Unfairly Terminated?

If you believe you were unfairly or unlawfully dismissed from your position, then that’s a separate issue entirely. You have the right to take your employer to court over this, and in doing so you may sue them for emotional distress, unpaid wages, an unpaid severance package, and more. However, you cannot demand a severance package if one wasn’t offered as part of your termination, whether it was unlawful or not.


Can I Receive More Money Than Was Offered in My Severance Package If My Former Employer Has Refused to Pay It?

This varies on a case-by-case basis, but most of the time, you won’t receive an additional sum if your employer has refused to pay your severance package. You can still receive after 60 days additional payment if your employer refuses to pay your final wages, though.


Most of the time, termination is simple and your employer will pay you what you’re due promptly. However, if they refuse to do so, then hiring an employment attorney will ensure your former employer pays you what they owe you.