Is it legal for my employer to force me to receive my wages in a certain way?

My company recently changed the method it uses for paying employees. Normally, employees are either given a check or their pay is directly deposited into a bank account. Now, employees MUST either have direct deposit, or receive their pay via a Money Network account. This Money Network account can be accessed using

My company recently changed the method it uses for paying employees. Normally, employees are either given a check or their pay is directly deposited into a bank account. Now, employees MUST either have direct deposit, or receive their pay via a Money Network account. This Money Network account can be accessed using a debit-type card at a Bank of America ATM and can be used as a debit/credit card everywhere debit/Visa is accepted. If you want to withdraw all your funds, you must fill out a check (making it out to yourself) and go into a Bank of America branch to cash the check.

Also, the Money Network account has fees that I would have to pay if I use my debit-type card at any non-Bank of America ATM or if I ever want a printed version of my statement. I have to PAY to access or receive information about MY OWN MONEY. And if I lose the debit-type card, I have to pay upwards of $20 for a new one.

We were told that this method cuts down on paper use, and is more convenient for the employees. No one, including Human Resources, can give any more information than this. No one seems to know much about it.

Due to numerous and serious problems with direct deposit in the past, I refuse to EVER have direct deposit again. I also do NOT want to receive my pay via the Money Network account, as I would have to pay for my own gasoline to drive to Bank of America to write myself a check and then cash it, and then drive to my bank and go inside to deposit it. Not to mention the fees. It's a complete unnecessary hassle.

The introductory letter mentioned that until our Money Network account is established we would continue receiving checks as usual. Which is what I prefer.

Can they force me to accept my pay in a way that I do not want to receive it? Do I have any say in the matter, or do I have to decide which crappy method I want?

Best Answer:

Madeleine: federal law requires only that you be given your choice of financial institution to use (i…e…, your employer can insist on direct deposit, but you get to choose the bank)… after that, it is up to state law… some states allow the employer to require direct deposit (indiana, kansas, minnesota, missouri, south carolina, texas, virginia, washington and west virginia – with exceptions such as direct pay debit cards for those without bank accounts)… he remainder of the states are either not clear (which means that required direct deposit may or may not be a legal violation) and some require your assent… remember that you are more than likely an at-shall employee meaning that if you refuse one of the two methods being offered, you can be fired/laid off at your employer's discretion…

Other answer:

Madeleine:
Probably perfectly legal. U shd try again with direct deposit. Once the inital problems are worked out, it will work just fine.
Elmo:
yeah it is
but you have 2 options so they are not forcing you to a "certain way"
A Hunch:
It's based on state law. I believe since 2010 or 2011 all states allow this now – California was the last holdout.

Why do companies what to use this feature? It's much less costly and much less prone to fraud.
Paychecks have a lot of security added into them. = special paper, special watermarks, often special inks = it can cost between $.50-$1.00 for the actual check. In addition, to the increased cost of printing hardcopy checks vs sending an electronic file to the bank.

Although, I don't know the specific features of the Money Network card vs opposed to other paycards. I think the best option is for you to find a bank that you trust with direct deposit and use that. Many people have been using direct deposit for close to 20+ years without a problem.

tro:
for whatever reason they have for changing their method of payment if you want your money you will comply, it might be they are changing their method of bookkeeping, or possibly even farming it out to a management company who is setting the requirements
when SS decided to direct deposit all payments to a person's bank account I know many elderly who had no bank account but they were forced to get one if they wanted their money, this method is much safer and certainly more economical
Eva:
They are giving you 2 options. You do not have to go to BOA to cash a check and then go to your own bank to deposit the cash. You can simply go to your own bank a deposit the check. It's not unusual for banks to charge for printed statements since you can access them online. Direct deposit works well for most people. I don't know why you had such problems with it, but it's usually because the person didn't give the payroll dept. the correct information.
Andy L:
In the USA, it is highly in your best interests to accept a method they offer because even though it is technically not legal to force a particular method of payment for wages, they can cut off all future wages and only resolve work performed to date as either a final check, or cash. They cannot force a non-cash or final check for past wages. They can make a method for future wages as a condition of employment.
Details follow:
In the USA at least, legally, you can insist on a method of payment for your services. That should be resolved before you perform the services. It is similar to selling goods that you can proscribe the acceptable methods of payment. If after you provide the goods or services with no advance method of acceptable payment, if they offer to settle a debt for cash and you turn it down, courts could cancel the debt as cash is a universal payment method. Most state laws refer to final pay check, which would imply a check as acceptable for wages in state and local courts. These things are in your favor, but there is a major problem.

Legally, they can fire you tomorrow. It is only a question of whether it is with or without cause when they fire you. then, we are back to "final check" laws. To some extent, the question of unemployment payments will hinge on whether the method of payment is reasonable. Paper checks, in today's world, are considered the least desirable because of time to send, restrictions by banks on cashing them, possibility of loss or theft or damage. Direct deposit is the most reliable method. Any debit card should have a method of withdrawal without fee and is actually an account number set up in your name with a bank and routing number so effectively is direct deposit. In what you describe, you would have to justify that the burden was too much. I expect any unemployment would be denied as they offer reasonable methods in a modern society.

It is legal for them to require FUTURE wages be paid by their method as a condition of employment and if reasonable, would block unemployment insurance payments. Other countries may have variations in this relatively common law practice.

Rinkydink:
You have 2 options. If neither suit you, give your 2 weeks notice and find an employer that pays in a way that makes you happy.
Charlesetta:
I seriously doubt that you have any say in the manner in which a company pays its employees.
Squidmaster:
They can't force you to use the Network, which is why they have the option of direct debit.
But they CAN limit the options. If they want to stop using cheques, they CAN do that.

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