If my company normally pays me via direct deposit but issues me a paper check instead causing late fee’s, are they liable?

My company usually pays me via direct deposit, however lately, they have been having money issues and at the last minute, will pay me via paper check so that it takes a few days to clear, giving them time to get the money in their account. Our employee handbook states that they can pay us however they want to. The problem is that my bills came out of my account on the day I was to be paid via direct deposit, causing overdraft charges to my bank account. Since they set a precedent by paying via direct deposit, can they switch like this? And are they liable for my bank fees?

Asked on August 15, 2012 under Employment Labor Law, Missouri


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

Yes, they can switch--the law does not mandate direct deposit, or prevent the use of paper checks.

Assuming they paid you (gave you the check) on time, they fulfilled their obligations and are not responsible for your overdraft. Their only obligation is to pay on time; if you have not budgetted so as to leave enough money in your account, that is not their responsibility.

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