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If you quit your job, are terminated or get laid off, Ohio state law dictates how long your ex-employer has to give you your final paycheck. If your employer fails to pay you within the designated time period or if your paycheck goes unclaimed, the company legally must follow Ohio’s escheatment rules. If you fail to receive your check by the deadline, you may be entitled to back pay.
Ohio has a semi-monthly paycheck rule in place, meaning that an employer does not have to immediately give an employee a final paycheck after being terminated. According to Ohio Revised Code Section 4113.15, the employer lawfully must provide a final paycheck on the regularly scheduled pay date or within 15 days – whichever comes first.
The law states that every employer doing business in Ohio must pay employees the wages earned during the first half of the month (ending with the 15th) on or before the 15th day. This includes an employee who was fired or quit the job within the first half of the preceding calendar month.
If you no longer work for an employer and are not physically in your place of work, you can receive the payment of your wages through an authorized representative on your regular payday or the 15th day of the month. Otherwise, you are entitled to the payment you are owed for work hours completed at any time thereafter upon demand.
Your final paycheck should include full wages for all of the hours that you worked from the beginning of the pay period to the termination of your job. It should also include any compensation you are owed under state and federal wage laws, including employment benefits. This may include severance pay, commissions or bonuses from special projects, unused vacation time, and accrued sick pay. If you owe the company money for anything, the employer has the right to deduct what you owe from your final paycheck.
If an ex-employee fails to pick up the final paycheck or cannot be contacted to send the paycheck out, the employer cannot keep the money. The company must follow Ohio’s rules of escheatment. Escheat laws control the unclaimed property. To escheat funds means to turn them over to the correct state agency. Any business that operates in the State of Ohio is required to file a Report of Unclaimed Funds annually. If the company fails to report unclaimed funds, it can incur a penalty of $100 per day.
Employers in Ohio are also subject to recordkeeping requirements for unclaimed final checks. They must create and maintain a record of the names and last known addresses of all paid employees for at least five years after reporting unclaimed paychecks to the state. That way, ex-employees can continue to be contacted in an attempt to pay the individual his or her final wages.
If you were fired or quit your job and did not receive your final paycheck on the date that you normally were paid or by the 15th day of the month, you may be a victim of a wage and hour violation. In this scenario, consult with a Cleveland wage and hour lawyer for legal assistance. A lawyer can help you file a lawsuit against your employer to seek the compensation that you are lawfully owed. You may be eligible for back pay, or payment for work that you completed but were not paid for in your final check.
At Scott & Winters Law Firm, LLC, our lawyers can work toward finding an amicable solution with your employer to receive your final paycheck. If we cannot reach a resolution through mediation or a settlement, we can file a private lawsuit against your employer on your behalf to seek compensation. We are highly experienced wage and hour attorneys who know how to pursue payment for final and unclaimed paychecks in Ohio. Call (216) 446-8886 or contact us here to request a free consultation.