Common Employer Mistakes: Payment Of Wages Upon Termination

Employers frequently violate Iowa law in two respects when it comes to wages that are owed to terminated employees: (1) they don’t pay all of the wages that the employee is entitled to and (2) they don’t pay the wages in a timely manner.

Whether you are fired or quit, your employer is certainly required to pay you all wages that you earned through your termination date.  Employers rarely have a problem paying the actual earned wages.  What employers sometimes forget or refuse to do is pay or “buy out” employees for other earned wages upon termination, such as sick pay, vacation pay, or personal time off.  You may have an employment law claim if your employer has not paid you for all of those items upon your termination.

Employers are also commonly late with employees’ final paychecks after their termination.  All earned wages, including vacation pay, sick pay, and personal time off must be paid by the next regular payday after the termination.  Interest begins to run on any earned wages that an employer fails to timely pay.   If your employer is late with some or all of your final paycheck, you can recover the owed wages, interest, attorney fees, court costs, and litigation expenses. 

Iowa law requires that employers pay the attorney fees and litigation expenses of employees who successfully sue for a violation of Iowa’s wage and hour laws.  Because there are many issues that need to be reviewed and analyzed in wage and hour matters, you should contact an attorney if you believe that your employer violated Iowa’s wage laws.  


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