Unpaid Final Wages: What to Do When Leaving a Job

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Unpaid Final Wages: What to Do When Leaving a Job

Unpaid Final Wages: Your Rights and Actions When Leaving a Job

When leaving a job, it is crucial to ensure that you receive all the wages owed to you, including any unpaid final wages. Unpaid final wages can include accrued vacation time, unused sick leave, commissions, and other compensation that you are entitled to upon termination. This article aims to provide essential information on your rights as an employee, the legal obligations of employers regarding final wages, and the steps you can take to recover unpaid wages.

Understanding Your Rights

As an employee, you have rights regarding the payment of your final wages:

Prompt Payment: Employers are generally required to pay an employee’s final wages promptly upon termination, according to state or local laws.

Accrued Vacation and Sick Time: If you have accrued vacation or sick time that you have not used, you may be entitled to be paid for those unused hours.

Commissions and Bonuses: If you have earned commissions or bonuses as part of your employment agreement, those amounts should be included in your final wage payment.

Legal Obligations of Employers

Employers have legal obligations regarding the payment of final wages:

Deadline for Payment: State or local laws determine the deadline for final wage payment. Some jurisdictions require immediate payment, while others allow employers a specific number of days after termination to provide the final paycheck.

Calculation of Final Wages: Employers must accurately calculate and include all unpaid wages, including accrued vacation time, unused sick leave, commissions, and other compensation owed to the employee.

Steps to Recover Unpaid Final Wages

If you have not received your final wages upon leaving a job, you can take the following steps to recover them:

Review Employment Contract and Handbook: Review your employment contract and employee handbook to understand your rights and the company’s policies regarding final wage payment.

Communicate with Your Employer: Reach out to your former employer to inquire about the status of your unpaid final wages. Provide documentation and evidence to support your claim.

Consult Employment Law Attorney: If your employer refuses to pay your final wages or does not respond to your attempts to communicate, consult with an employment law attorney. They can provide guidance and help you understand your legal options.

File a Wage Claim: In some jurisdictions, you may need to file a wage claim with the appropriate government agency, such as the Department of Labor or state labor board. These agencies can investigate your claim and take necessary action to recover your unpaid wages.

Lawsuit: If all other attempts to recover your unpaid final wages are unsuccessful, you may consider filing a lawsuit against your former employer. An employment law attorney can assist you in navigating the legal process and advocating for your rights.


Receiving your unpaid final wages upon leaving a job is essential for maintaining financial stability and ensuring fair treatment as an employee. If you find yourself facing unpaid final wages, it is important to understand your rights and take appropriate action to recover what you are owed. Our employment law firm is dedicated to helping employees protect their rights and recover unpaid wages. Contact us today to discuss your situation and explore the legal options available to recover your unpaid final wages.

Contact Us for a Consultation

Amir Law Group P.C. is a law firm with winning results and the track record to prove it. Whether it is a employment issue, a personal injury, or estate planning, our attorneys have the talent and knowledge to thoroughly represent you. Our attorneys will guide you through the process every step of the way.

We are not afraid to litigate and take cases to trial, and have trial experience. We are relentless and we win. Clients also have first-hand access to our attorneys who are available day or night and will even provide you with their cell phone numbers. Case updates come straight from your attorney rather than paralegals or staff members.

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