New Regulations Regarding Methods for Payment of Wages

On September 7, 2016, the New York State Department of Labor released new regulations governing permissible methods of wage payment, including the use of payroll debit cards. A payroll debit card is a card that provides access to an account with a financial institution established directly or indirectly by the employer, and to which transfers of the employee’s wages are made on an isolated or recurring basis.

Among other things, the regulations provide that an employer may not pay wages by payroll card unless each of the following is provided:

  • Local access to one or more automated teller machines that offers withdrawals at no cost to the employee.
  • At least one method to withdraw up to the total amount of wages for each pay period or balance remaining on the payroll debit card without the employee incurring a fee.

In addition, employers who use a method of payment other than cash or check will be required to provide employees with written notice that contains all of the following:

  • A description of the employee’s options for receiving wages, in plain language.
  • A statement that the employer may not require the employee to accept wages by payroll debit card or by direct deposit.
  • A statement that the employee may not be charged any fees for services that are necessary for the employee to access his or her wages in full.
  • If employees are offered the option of payment via payroll debit card, a list of locations where employees can access and withdraw wages at no charge to the employees within reasonable proximity their place of residence or place of work.

The regulations go into effect on March 7, 2017.

Read the Regulations (see page 8)