Do I legally have to sign termination papers to get my final paycheck sent out?

UPDATED: Aug 7, 2011

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Do I legally have to sign termination papers to get my final paycheck sent out?

I was let go from my job 2 days ago and in the state of WY. My company legally has 5 days to get my final paycheck to me with all hours. Well, I actually still have contact with individuals who work there and they told me that they weren’t planning on sending my check in the mail (mind you an extra 2-4 days) until at least Monday if I signed the papers by then. Do I have to legally sign those papers and, if so, does it really determine the starting date of when they have to send my final paycheck or is it 5 days after the date I was let go signed or not?

Asked on August 7, 2011 Wyoming


FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

All states have required time periods to give a former employee his or her final pay check. The timing depends upon whether the employee quits or is terminated, typically.

Legally, you do not have to sign your final termination papers to get your final pay check sent by your former employer. Your former employer cannot condition your final pay check tender to you in exchange for you signing final paperwork with your former employer.

The start time for when you are to receive your final pay check begins when you are actually given notice of your termination or when you quit. Since you were let go, the time period for when you are to receive your final pay check starts running from date of termination, not the date of signing the requested paperwork.

From a practical matter, the  employer needs signed paperwork from a terminated employee if such reference benefits paid, Cobra insurance option, life insurance benefits and 401 k issues.

Good question.


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