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Laws governing when an employee has to receive their check

edited December 2008 in General Payroll Topics
Do you know of any links that would tell me any state laws governing when an employee has to physically receive their paycheck? Here is the situation.. I have an employee in Utah who is calling stating that she is going to report us to the state because she is not receiving her paycheck an "acceptable amount" of time after pay date. We use ADP check for our live checks and they are mailed out on the Wednesday before pay date. I believe our only obligation is to have the checks postmarked by pay date, but she is saying different. I have skimmed the Payroll Source for the state laws but couldn't find anything. Any help you superstars could provide me would be great.

Thanks in advance...

Comments

  • I'm just supporting Mr. Warrens reply (not that he needs it).

    You have a nasty, complaining, whinning employee who seems to be confused about the "rules". DO NOT waste much of your time with this person. Especially DO NOT argue with her. She is a bully.

    Ask her to provide you with documentation that specifically backs up her accusation. Tell her once you receive that, you will review your procedure for check dispersal, with your supervisor AND the HR department.

    I'd bet you will not hear from her again.

    Also, offer her direct deposit. And I know ADP offers paychecks on debit cards. Offer her that.
  • I'm just curious about what an "acceptable" amount of time after pay date is to this person? I've worked for companies that used ADP to print/distribute their checks and the ones that were too stubborn to have direct deposit (almost) always got their checks by Friday (payday). Occasionally there was a one-off issue, but not on a consistent basis. As mentioned before, if she is truly that concerned, she should get direct deposit, or a paycard, or make other delivery arrangements.

    Some people really do sit around and look for reasons to try to file a complaint or lawsuit against anybody that they can.
  • As written by Mr. Warren ..
    Several general observations.
    - State law is generally not specific about "what is a reasonable amount of time" to receive the check. State regulations probably also are not that specific. What "rules" that exists (if any) are probably more like an opinon letter or a verbal opinion given over the phone.

    Since IMO there is mostly no hard laws on your specific question in probably any of the fifty states. I think that if you were willing to spend several hundred (or thousand man-hours) calling up the various state governments you might eventually be able to get a pretty good list of maybe 30 of those states. I do think that it is perhaps unlikely that someone would put in that type of effort, and then turn around and put that information on a free website. I have used both the BNA and CCH payroll libraries (paid services), and neither had that level of detail for this specific question. Possibly Lexus-Nexus would but that is an expensive paid service.

    Having attempted to call NY State on this very issue, and getting a relatively vague answer .. I concluded that anything I was doing so far, was fine. I was making a "reasonable" ATTEMPT to get paychecks to employees. Therefore, NYS didn't seem to take much interest in my question.

    SNICHOLS is clearly making a "reasonable" attempt to send paychecks in a timely manner.
  • HI David - I was searching thru the discussions on CA payday laws and saw your reponse below. May I ask you a question on CA? We have always sent the CA employees paychecks and stubs via FedEx on the Wed before the Friday payroll, which a requested delivery date and time of Thursday, after 3:00 pm. Checking with FedEx, they said it doesn't matter what time we put on the package, they will deliver it whenever their driver's route works out. Consequently some packages of checks are being delivered as early as 9 am on Thursday and managers are handing out the checks to their employees immediately even though payday isn't until Friday. Disciplining the managers is necessary I know. but is there any reason why we can't send the packages with a delivery requested for 8:00 am on Friday?
  • Thanks David - I was told by my boss that CA employees had to have their checks and stubs delivered to their place of employment ? Maybe he's interpreting that as our policy for the part about the employer designating a place of payment?

    In California, wages, with some exceptions (see table below), must be paid at least twice during each calendar month on the days designated in advance as regular paydays. The employer must establish a regular payday and is required to post a notice that shows the day, time and location of payment.

    Some days I feel like I'm beating my head against a brick wall... :roll: A few jobs ago I worked for a place that did not have direct deposit for any employees and I had the same problem with
    managers handing out checks early...The company was playing the money float game and would not deposit funds to cover payroll until payday so most of the employees that tried to cash their checks early were getting turned away because there were no funds in the account - 8)
  • May I ask you a question on CA? We have always sent the CA employees paychecks and stubs via FedEx on the Wed before the Friday payroll, which a requested delivery date and time of Thursday, after 3:00 pm. Checking with FedEx, they said it doesn't matter what time we put on the package, they will deliver it whenever their driver's route works out. Consequently some packages of checks are being delivered as early as 9 am on Thursday and managers are handing out the checks to their employees immediately even though payday isn't until Friday. ... but is there any reason why we can't send the packages with a delivery requested for 8:00 am on Friday?


    Our payroll office is located in NV but 2/3 of our employees are located in 30+ different locations in CA. Our payday is Monday and we ship Fedex Priority out of NV on Friday for a Monday delivery. We haven't had any problems with this issue and I know some packages have gotten there much later than 8am.
  • There are some places where mail delivery is slow (Gainesville FL is one such place) and there are a lot of remote areas in Utah - perhaps that is the issue -

    My checks always seem to arrive the day after I needed the money (grin) and after the bank closes Friday - so it does not show up in my account until Monday. That really puts a damper on going into town and tying one on during the weekend - however one does that in Utah - and maybe it is a long way into town - gas prices are much better than they were, but the last few months that could have put a major damper on the weekend plans. In Gainesville, at least, If there was any gas in the tank, I could get into town and back - but if the dance was in Jacksonville or St. Cloud, there might be a problem.
  • Pat, you're always so pragmatic. :)
  • I've dealt with employees like this before. You should tell her if she wants her pay the same day as the check date then she needs to sign up for direct deposit.

    As long as you're following the frequency of payment rule posted by David you're okay. If you want to document that you're sending the checks in a timely manner you could spend the extra money to send it certified or by FedEx but I don't think that's necessary. The only way you can be sure the employee is getting her checks on her timeline is to hand deliver them. You can't control the postal service. As long as that check is postmarked you're good. It would be different if you held the check for a week after the check date and then mailed.

    As far as FedEx is concerned, if you send the checks priority overnight then they try to get it to you by 10:30a in most areas. If you want it sent later than that try sending it 2 Day. I think they try to get it to you by 5.
  • Some states can be pretty strict...

    I had an EE in DE who did not get his check by Monday when we mailed it out on Friday... the first time it happened he waited 1 more day and received it - the 2nd time he called me, said he would wait 1 more day then called the DE DOL and said not only that we refused to re-issue the check(a LIE) but that he also feared retribution from me because he had complained. ..

    The DOL called me - told me I had to FedEx the check to him and could not deduct the fee from his wages he refused to go on DD and we could not force him.

    Needless to say I was not too broken up when the IRS garnished his wages for back taxes :twisted: he quit not too long after that. Good riddance.
  • The DOL called me - told me I had to FedEx the check to him and could not deduct the fee from his wages he refused to go on DD and we could not force him.

    If you read the Delaware Code, Fed-X is NOT an option - See
    http://delcode.delaware.gov/title19/c011/index.shtml
    paragraph 1102(b) Every employer shall pay all wages due within 7 days from the close of the pay period in which the wages were earned; provided, that if the regular payday falls on a nonwork day, payment shall be made on the preceding workday. If, however, the regular payday is within the pay period (on or before the final day of the pay period) and the pay period does not exceed 16 days, the employer may delay until the next pay period compensation for the following:

    (1) Overtime hours worked by employees;

    (2) Employees hired or resuming employment during the pay period; and

    (3) Part-time or temporary employees with variable working time.

    (c) If an employee is for any reason not present on the regular payday, payment shall be made either by mail if requested by the employee or at the next regular workday that the employee is present or by the credit to the bank account designated by the employee. (19 Del. C. 1953, § 1102; 55 Del. Laws, c. 19, § 1; 57 Del. Laws, c. 152, §§ 1, 2; 68 Del. Laws, c. 217, § 1; 70 Del. Laws, c. 103, §§ 2, 3; 70 Del. Laws, c. 186, § 1.)

    See also
    http://www.delawareworks.com/industrialaffairs/services/LaborLawEnforcementInfo.shtml

    You need the employee's permission to mail it (mail, not fed-X) or the employee's request for direct deposit - otherwise you are to wait until the next regular work day the employee comes in (grin).

    The only issue I see here is if you are paying 7 days after the end of the pay period and you know the employee won't be receiving the check within 7 days. On the other hand - are you sure this employment relationship is subject to DE law? It is not clear from your post - but DE is so small, I can't imagine that he could not pick up his check (grin).

    Anyway- the DOL is correct that you cannot deduct the cost of overnighting the check, but I think the person who told you that you had to fed-X is is wrong and just did not want the employee clogging up their operations.

    My take on this is that if you did Fed-X it and it did not arrive on time, the DOL could nail you for not following the procedure outline in the code (mail - which usually means U.S. Mail) - unfortunately, the term "mail" is not defined in this code section.
    Needless to say I was not too broken up when the IRS garnished his wages for back taxes he quit not too long after that. Good riddance.

    Guess he was having financial difficulties and needed the money quickly - but should have gone with direct deposit - unless the IRS knew where his bank account was -- seems like sometimes the people who are the biggest sticklers (and bullies) with regard to others are often pretty lax in their own affairs (grin).
  • What the DOL told me was that since the EE had requested that the check in this instance only be FedEx'd we had to comply - the EE had already signed off at DOH on the mailing of payroll checks.

    We are located in IL so Ee pick up was not an option(the EE is an outside sales rep). We mail out our checks on the final day of the pay period or the day after at the latest so the 7 day rule should not have applied in this case - he just told a story to beat the band. :roll:
    The worker form DE DOL told me that since this was a 1st complaint it would be better to just kiss his ring but that if he made a 2nd complaint against us they would have to take further action yada yada yada.
    I wonder if the IRS has caught up with him yet :twisted:
  • I realize that this is the old posting but this is regarding the Delaware posting. No where in that statue does it say that you cannot FedEx. Use of the word mail is generally used as a generic term. Because I'm sure when those statutes were put into place FedEx was not used the way it is today so I'm sure that you are incorrect in stating that FedEx is not an option. It's an option just as UPS would be or DHL or a priority mail service. All considered mail in this context.
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