Money owed after firing


New Member
New York

I am currently taking an online math class. While we were discussing employment taxes, a fellow student asked if a person is fired, does he still get paid for this sick time.

The instructor said yes and the fired person should also receive payment for any vacation or personal leave time accumulated before his last day. Is this true for all states?

Is this true for all states?

No, it is not. Nor is it true for federal government employment, either (the federal government is not subject to state wage and employment laws). When I left federal government employment, I was not paid for the sick time that I had accumulated. If I ever go back to federal employment (which I think is unlikely) that sick time would be restored, but I'd never get a check for unpaid sick time.

In most states sick and vacation time is not a vested benefit that you are legally guaranteed to get paid for should you leave before using that time.
The instructor is not even entirely correct in NY. Unless something has changed very, very recently, no state requires the payout of sick time at termination. NY definitely does not. As far as vacation goes, in NY vacation time does have to be paid out at termination - unless there is a written policy, of which the employee is or should be aware, that expressly says it is not. It is not unconditionally owed; an employer may, legally, have a policy in which it is not paid out or is paid out only conditionally. It's just that in NY, unlike many states, the terms and conditions under which it will not be paid must be expressly spelled out and available to the employee.