Is my employer allowed to open my paycheck?

My employer gets our paychecks mailed to the business as per the usual and sometimes my boss will open everyones checks to audit them. What I have learned through other management is that he is double checking to make sure everyone gets paid what he has in the books as well as overtime pay is handled appropriately, one thing to add here is that he doesn’t actually handle the payroll but does the auditing. All our checks are addressed to the employees at their respective home or P.O. box addresses though he does not mail them out we have to pick them up from him personally. I was wondering if I can get something stating that he cannot open my paycheck without my consent or something of that nature, I’m not looking to seek compensation or anything to that extreme, I simply just don’t like him going through my mail essentially for audits that he doesn’t explain the nature of to us.

Asked on November 18, 2018 under Employment Labor Law, New Mexico


M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 2 years ago | Contributor

Unless your employer mailed and then opened your paycheck, the law against opening up another's mail is not applicable. Additionally, since your paycheck is based on the information that your employer provides, then he is entitled to check to make sure that the paycheck itself is accurate. If tha means opening it up at work, that is legal. 

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 2 years ago | Contributor

This is legal. If he does not actually mail them, they are not "mailed"--and the rules against opening someone else's mail do not apply. Rather, if they are sent to him for distribution, then since they are based on data he provides and he pays the amounts in them, so that both there is nothing private from him in them and he has a legitimate interest in making sure they are accurate, he has a right to open and review them.

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