Arizona Allows Employers to Mandate Electronic Payment of Wages

Effective on July 20, 2011, employers in Arizona can mandate electronic payment of wages. Employees that do not elect direct deposit may be paid by payroll debit card, which now can be treated as the default option.

HR 2151 amends Ariz. Stat. sections 23-350 and 23-351 by allowing employers to choose one of four methods of payment of wages: (1) cash; (2) check; (3) if elected by the employee, direct deposit into a financial institution of the employee’s choice; or (4) if an employee does not designate a financial institution for direct deposit, by payroll debit card.

If an employer chooses to pay wages by payroll debit card, the employee must be entitled to withdraw his or her full wages without fee at least one time per pay period, but not more than once per week. The employer must also provide the employee with a list of all potential fees an employee may incur. Also, if the employee is paid by direct deposit or payroll debit card, the employer must furnish the employee with a written or electronic statement of the employee’s earnings and withholdings.

Payroll cards can be a win-win option for both employers and employees. Employers are given greater flexibility in methods of paying wages at reduced cost, and with greater security than cash or traditional checks. Employees no longer have to incur check cashing fees, and also have protection against lost cash. While it is not clear that Arizona’s bill represents any kind of trend by the states toward mandating electronic payment of wages, Arizona’s law should definitely be welcome by Arizona employers.

Photo credit: MBPHOTO, INC.

Information contained in this publication is intended for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice or opinion, nor is it a substitute for the professional judgment of an attorney.