Final Paychecks

Oct 20, 2016 | Employment Law, Featured, News

By J. Steven Collins

“I’m walking out the door. You can take this job and shove it; I ain’t workin’ here no more.”

“Just hold your horses, Johnny, you take off that uniform right now and turn it in.”

“Foreman, I can’t make it no plainer. I’m out of here now. Send my last paycheck to me, PDQ.”

“Well, it’ll be a cold day in Hattiesburg when I send Johnny his paycheck.  I’m holding it until he brings back our uniform.”

Wait, wait don’t do it.

Tennessee Code Annotated 50-2-103(g) provides that there are no circumstances under which the employer can refuse to tender the final paycheck. That paycheck must be provided to the employee on the next regular payday or 21 days after termination or quitting, whichever occurs last.

The Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development enforces the law. A violation is a misdemeanor, subjecting the company to audits, fines, and civil penalties. The Department takes the position that deductions from a final paycheck are limited to taxes, other deductions required by law, or deductions the employee has authorized in advance, in writing.


J. Steven Collins serves in an Of Counsel role in Spicer Rudstrom’s Knoxville office. He is an experienced litigation attorney practicing in employment law, domestic relations, and premises liability. He has achieved an AV Preeminent rating from Martindale-Hubbell, is past president of the Knoxville Bar Association, and is a graduate of Leadership Knoxville.