Q & A – Can we force our employees to accept direct deposit in California?

Q: Can we force our employees to accept direct deposit in California?

A: The employee must voluntarily agree to receiving pay by direct deposit according to Labor Code 213: http://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/faces/codes_displaySection.xhtml?lawCode=LAB&sectionNum=213.

Nothing in Labor Code 212 shall “Prohibit an employer from depositing wages due or to become due or an advance on wages to be earned in an account in any bank, savings and loan association, or credit union of the employee’s choice with a place of business located in this state, provided that the employee has voluntarily authorized that deposit. If an employer discharges an employee or the employee quits, the employer may pay the wages earned and unpaid at the time the employee is discharged or quits by making a deposit authorized pursuant to this subdivision, provided that the employer complies with the provisions of this article relating to the payment of wages upon termination or quitting of employment.”
The requirement to have the employee voluntarily agree to direct deposit is reiterated in an opinion letter: http://www.dir.ca.gov/dlse/opinions/1987-01-07.pdf