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The company I work for has been messing up our direct deposit for 3 weeks in a row and has been racking me up fees for returned payment for all my bills. This week I was going to get paid today$ but it’s 450 and direct deposit still hasn’t gone in. Could I take legal action for this?
Asked on September 15, 2017 under Employment Labor Law, Arizona
SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney
Answered 3 years ago | Contributor
There most likely is no legal action you could take.
First, the law would not generally consider it the company's fault if you have NSF or returned check or late fees, etc. You would not have those if you had a cushion or reserves in your bank account so that you did not live "paycheck to paycheck": the company does not cause you to live so that you need every check to come in right on time. Further, the company did not cause you to incur those bills, or cause the size or amount of them: you did. While we all know that it can be difficult to get out of a paycheck-to-paycheck cycle, it is possible to do so; therefore, since not having enough funds for your bills is something under your control, the law will not hold your employer liable for it--the causal link between your employer's actions and the consequences is broken by the fact that your finances are under your control, not the employer's. Once that causal link is broken, they are not liable
Second, even if, for the sake of argument, the employer were liable, all you could take legal action for would be the amount of the returned payment, etc. fees. (I.e. the costs the lateness caused.) It is not clear that filing a lawsuit, missing a day or two of work for it, and suing your employer--all drastic steps--is worth what you'd get back.