As I was going through the news updates for my website today (thepayrolladvisor.com) I came across a news item that struck a nerve for today’s blog. The item? Tennessee is now allowing employers to pay their employees via payroll card with the usual restrictions. These restrictions include no fees for one time withdrawal of all monies, etc. This news items simply adds the state to the long growing list of states that permit payroll cards as a method of payment. So what was it that caught my eye? Well, why do the states have to address this issue at all? I just have to question why each state has to address an issue that is obviously universal to all workers within this country. So therefore it should be a national law not a state by state one. All employees have to be paid, whether in Tennessee or New York. All workers have access to banks whether in Tennessee or New York. We don’t do local checking in this country anymore. We use our debit cards or credit cards or even cash as well as checking accounts. So what is wrong with having there be one law in this country on the federal level to state how employees need to be paid?
We can start off with the universal standard of “employees must be paid in cash, or by negotiable instrument payable upon demand without discount.” Then just state that payroll cards or direct deposit are included as negotiable instruments. We can add that there can be no fees if the employee is paid electronically. They have one withdrawal of all monies at no cost. No one can force an employee to have a bank account if they don’t want to or are no longer eligible. And the check has to be good. Why 50 different laws in 50 different states to have to research and worry about when one would be more efficient and more universal. And it will protect the worker in those states that don’t address the issue at all or haven’t gotten around to noticing that we are now in the 21st century when it comes to wage and hour laws and paying employees.
What do you think?