If you've ever had the bad luck of checking your bank account on payday only to find you haven't been paid yet, you know just how frustrating a delayed paycheck can be. Luckily, the law is on your side. Most states operate similarly when it comes to paycheck laws, and all states (except Alabama and South Carolina) mandate weekly, biweekly, semimonthly, or monthly payments. That means if your employer misses a paycheck, they can be held accountable by law. If you want to know the exact payday laws in your specific state, you can check this list.

But before you worry about getting the law involved, first contact your employer about the lost paycheck. It's best to do this in person as well as in writing, in case you later need to use the email or letter as evidence. If they assure you your paycheck is in the mail, remind them that they are obligated to have your check in your hand by the designated payday, not just in the mail. Hopefully, the check will arrive soon, but if late paychecks continue to be a problem with your employer, you may have grounds for legal action.

But what if the check never comes at all? According to FindLaw, the steps to take in the case of an absent paycheck are as follows:

  1. Contact your employer (preferably in writing) and ask for the wages owed to you
  2. If your employer refuses to do so, consider filing a claim with your state's labor agency.
  3. File a suit in small claims court or superior court for the amount owed
  4. For larger cases involving a late paycheck or payday laws in general, consider hiring a labor attorney to help you.

The most important thing to remember in the case of a late or undelivered paycheck is that getting paid for the work you do is your right. There's no need to feel uncomfortable confronting your employer about issues of wages, and you shouldn't hesitate to consult a lawyer if you feel you're being taken advantage of by your employer in any way.

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The Federal Reserve sets the guardrails for the federal funds rate, and through that helps control the money supply for the nation.

When you take out a loan for a car, charge something to your credit card, or get a personal line of credit, there is going to be an interest rate that applies to your loan.

A lot of different factors go into what you will be charged, including your own personal credit score. But even those with flawless credit still see a minimum charge that they can't get around. That all goes back to the Federal Funds Rate.

One thing consumers rarely realize is that all of our banks are lending money to each other every night. Banks are legally required to maintain a certain percentage of their deposits in non-interest-bearing accounts at the Federal Reserve to ensure they have enough money to cover any withdrawals that may unexpectedly come up. However, deposits can fluctuate and it's very common for some banks to exceed the requirement on certain days while some fall short. In cases like this, banks actually lend each other money to ensure they meet the minimum balance. It's a bit hard to imagine these multibillion-dollar financial institutions needing to borrow money to tide them over for a bit, but it happens every single night at the Federal Reserve. It's also a nice deal for those with balances above the reserve balance requirement to earn a bit of money with cash that would normally just be sitting there.

The Federal Reserve The Federal Reserve


The exact interest rate the banks will charge each other is a matter of negotiation between them, but the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) (the arm of the Federal Reserve that sets monetary policy) meets eight times a year to set a target rate. They evaluate a multitude of economic indicators including unemployment, inflation, and consumer confidence to decide the best rate to keep the country in business. The weighted average of all interest rates across these interbank loans is the effective federal funds rate.

This rate has a huge impact on the economy overall as well as your personal finances. The federal funds rate is essentially the cheapest money available to a bank and that feeds into all of the other loans they make. Banks will add a slight upcharge to the rate set by the Fed to determine what is the lowest interest that they will announce for their most creditworthy customers, also known as the prime rate. If you have a variable interest rate loan (very common with credit cards and some student loans), it's likely that the interest rate you pay is a set percentage on top of that prime rate that your lender is paying. That's why in times of low interest rates (it was set at 0% during the Great Recession), a lot of borrowers should go for fixed interest rate loans that won't increase. However, if the federal funds rate was relatively high (it went up to 20% in the early 1980's), a variable interest rate loan may be a better decision as you would be charged less interest should the rate drop without the need to refinance.

The federal funds rate also has a major impact on your investment portfolio. The stock market reacts very strongly to any changes in interest rates from the Federal Reserve, as a lower rate makes it cheaper for companies to borrow and reinvest while a higher rate may restrict capital and slow short-term growth. If you have a significant portion of your investments in equities, a small change in the federal funds rate can have a large impact on your net worth.

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