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National Summary
The payment of wages is regulated by federal and state law. Employers must pay wages in cash or its equivalent, and direct deposit is gaining in popularity as a convenient method for paying wages. In addition to the method of payment, state laws also regulate how frequently employees must be paid. Many states have laws regarding the payment of wages upon the termination of employment, including accrued vacation, and these rules often differ depending on whether the termination is voluntary or involuntary. If there is a dispute about wages, the employer must pay the employee what it concedes is due. The employee may file a wage claim with the Commissioner of Labor to collect any remaining wages he or she believes are owed. State and federal law also require that employers maintain certain records related to payroll and that those records be available for examination by the Department of Labor on 72 hours' notice. Employers must post an official wage and hour notice in the workplace.
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