Legally, an employer can't withhold an employee's paycheck, according to Alison Green in a U.S. News & World Report article. Regardless of the employee's performance on the job or even if the employee made a very costly error that effected the business's operations, the employee must be paid.
Employers are legally obligated to pay employees within a certain amount of time once the pay period is complete or risk financial penalty, Green writes.
If an employee who quits was paid on a bi-weekly cycle, he can expect to receive his final paycheck in accordance to the normal pay cycle, according to the Avvo legal forum. If the pay is held beyond this point, this is against the law and the employee has the legal right to file a complaint with the state's division that regulates labor law.