WA Amends Paycheck Protection Requirements

On March 11, 2022 the state of Washington amended laws around wage payments. Beginning June 9, 2022 there is a new employer requirement in regards to dishonored paychecks due to nonacceptance or nonpayment. Current Washington law requires that wages must be paid in lawful U.S. currency by using cash, check (must be convertible into cash on demand at full face value), direct deposit or other means of payment that pose no cost to the employee.

In a situation where employers pay their employees with an instrument, such as a check, that is returned for insufficient funds the employer will need to reimburse the employees the fees they are charged by their financial institution. Employees are able to request the fee reimbursements within 30 days of receiving a dishonored payment.

The amended law does provide protection to employers from paying any fees when the employer’s financial institution can provide written evidence that the instrument was returned for nonsufficient funds due to an error.

Employers should familiarize themselves with this amendment and implement procedures as necessary to handle dishonored wage payments due to nonsufficient funds and any fees employees may be charged as a result of them.