Processing a terminating employee’s paycheck correctly can be difficult. Not only is there a landmine infested area of state and federal wage and hour laws but the withholding or taxation may even change for this one payment! Therefore, many questions need to be answered before that final check can be processed.

Here are some examples:

  • If the employee is terminating voluntarily rather than involuntarily, would that change the date the payment would be due?
  • If the employee is now deceased would that change the taxation of their final check?
  • What if the employee owes vacation pay, can I take that back?
  • What must be done if the terminating employee has a child support deduction?
  • The terminating employee has not returned tools, equipment, or uniforms. How does that affect the final paycheck?

To ensure compliance payroll professionals must know the answers to all the questions that might arise when processing an employee’s final paycheck.

Areas covered in this program:

  • How federal and state wage and hour laws affect termination payments
  • State-by-state review of when and how to pay final paycheck
  • Accrued vacation when it must be paid state-by-state review
  • Proper handling of deceased employee payments
  • State-by-state review for recouping negative vacation balance and overpayments from the employee’s final paycheck
  • Deducting for missing or unreturned tools, company property, or uniforms
  • Processing child support, tax levies, and creditor garnishments from the final paycheck
  • A brief discussion of the effects fringe benefits can have on final paychecks including stock options and deferred
  • compensation

  • Year end and record retention concerns
Learning Objectives
  • Explore the requirements that relate how federal and state wage and hour laws affect termination payments.
  • Discover how to properly handle deductions from final paychecks such as for missing tools, garnishments and overpaid vacation.
  • Recognize the year end and record retention concerns for final paychecks.
  • Explore how to handle deceased employees final paycheck.
Last updated/reviewed: March 10, 2024
4 Reviews (12 ratings)


Anonymous Author
Vicki is a wonderful speaker and extremely knowledgeable about payroll. Excellent course.

Member's Profile
Great information and slides are informative and can be used for reference. Thank you!

Anonymous Author
Great job covering this information. Very well laid out and thorough.

Member's Profile
Great information that had me searching for my state laws.

Course Complexity: Foundational
No Advanced Preparation or Prerequisites are needed for this course.
Education Provider Information
Company: Illumeo, Inc., 75 East Santa Clara St., Suite 1215, San Jose, CA 95113
Contact: For more information regarding this course, including complaint and cancellation policies, please contact our offices at (408) 400- 3993 or send an e-mail to .
Instructor for this course
Course Syllabus
  Introduction to Terminated Employees: Getting the Final Check Right4:56
  Timing and Method of Paying Terminated Employees7:58
  Vacation Payouts4:54
  Recouping Overpayments Including Negative Vacation Pay17:16
  Deducting from a Final Paycheck9:52
  Deceased Employees8:48
  Year End Requirements7:52
  Record Retention20:16
  Terminated Employees: Getting the Final Check Right1:21:52
  Slides: Terminated Employees: Getting the Final Check RightPDF
  Terminated Employees: Getting the Final Check Right Glossary/IndexPDF