Weekly, monthly, quarterly — how often should you pay your employees? The answer varies and employers should be reviewing their pay practices across the board to ensure they are compliant with all timekeeping and payroll laws. In addition to the rules set forth at the national level by the DOL and the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), most states have pay frequency and timekeeping laws that employers must follow that vary according to the state.

Some states have very complicated pay day laws. In Massachusetts, all hourly employees must be paid at least weekly or biweekly (every two weeks) — with no exceptions.  In Arizona, for example, paychecks must be issued no more than 16 days apart, and employees must receive at least two or more checks per month. Michigan has the least restrictive laws, with paycheck frequency determined by occupation. Because no two states govern wage frequency the same way, business owners have to do their homework and double-check the requirements for their particular state.

You can pay hourly or salaried employees at different times. For example, you may choose to pay hourly employees weekly, and salaried employees twice a month. As long as your payment schedule complies with state requirements and is consistent and clear for employees to understand, you should be fine Because issuing paychecks more frequently ends up costing employers more over time, most employers want to have one payroll cycle, the general rule of thumb is to pay employees at least biweekly and you will be in compliance with most states.

It’s important to know your state’s current regulations. View the chart on FindLaw or visit your state’s Department of Labor website for more details. Need additional guidance on payment guidelines? Feel free to contact us with any questions you may have.

This content is provided with the understanding that HR Knowledge is not rendering legal advice. While every effort is made to provide current information, the law changes regularly and laws may vary depending on the state or municipality. The material is made available for informational purposes only and is not a substitute for legal advice or your professional judgment. You should review applicable laws in your jurisdiction and consult experienced counsel for legal advice. If you have any questions regarding this blog, please contact HR Knowledge at 508.339.1300 or email us.