UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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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 5 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.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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