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Minnesota Department of Labor and Industry

Labor Standards -- Making a demand for final wages

Man and dollar signWages due upon separation -- Minnesota Statutes 181.13, 181.14

The statutes provide penalties if wages are not paid according to the following guidelines:

  • for a discharged employee, wages are due within 24 hours of demand; and

  • for voluntary-quit employees, wages are due by the next payday, not to exceed 20 days from the last day worked.

View/print the Final Pay and Wage Claim Process brochure

Demanding your final wages

If you are an employee who has not received final wages from a previous employer, you can take the following steps to obtain your final wages.

  1. Write a letter to your former employer demanding wages. The department has prepared a sample letter template for those who have quit their job and for those who have been terminated from their job. It is important to demand the wages in writing so you have a record of your request and when it was made. It may also be beneficial to send your demand by certified mail so you know when the employer received the demand.

  2. File a wage claim with the Labor Standards unit at the Minnesota Department of Labor and Industry (DLI). If your employer does not pay you in a timely manner after receiving your written demand for wages, you can contact the Labor Standards unit at (651) 284-5070 or dli.laborstandards@state.mn.us to file a wage claim. To ensure DLI is able to process your claim, please have the following information ready:

    1. your name, address and telephone number;

    2. your former employer's name, address, telephone number and manager or owner's name;

    3. your last day of work;

    4. the date you demanded your final wages;

    5. the amount you are due in final wages (if unknown provide as accurate an estimate as possible);

    6. the dates you worked for your former employer yet were not paid; and

    7. whether you were terminated from your job or you quit your job.

    The statute of limitations on wages is two years. If you submit a claim for wages you earned more than two years ago, DLI may not be able to assist you in getting those wages.

  3. Go to court. Employees also have the option of filing a claim in court if the employer does not pay final wages as required under Minnesota Statutes 181.13 or 181.14.

    1. In addition to the amount of final wages due, employees may also recover one day of average wages for each day the employer is late in paying (up to 15 days).

    2. If the amount of wages and penalties due equals $10,000 or less, the employee may file in small claims court (conciliation court). Otherwise the employee must file in District Court.

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