In the past few months, both Georgia and Rhode Island have amended their wage payment statutes to expressly address the use of payroll cards. Georgia Senate Bill number 88 amended section 34-7-2 of the Official Code of Georgia and became effective May 5, 2015. The bill allows employers to make payroll cards the default method of wage payment when an employee does not designate another method of payment. Employers also must provide employees the ability to enroll in direct deposit and request a paper paycheck.
To comply with the amended statute, employers who offer payroll cards must do the following:
First, the employer must provide the employee with a written explanation of any fees associated with the payroll card program offered by the employer.
Second, the employer must provide the employee with a payment selection or "opt-out" form that can be used by the employee to authorize direct deposit to an account designated by the employee or request payment by check. The form must be provided along with the written explanation of fees.
Third, the written explanation of fees and opt-out form must be provided at least 30 days before the employer initially rolls out the payroll card program. After initial program implementation, the employer must provide the fee disclosure and opt-out form to employees at the time of hiring. The employer must honor the employee's request to be paid using one fo the other payment methods.
Fourth, the employer must make the opt-out form generally available to employees who wish to change their payment selection.
Senate Bill number 88 became Chapter Number 85 and can be viewed at www.legis.ga.gov/Legislation/20152016/153816.pdf.
Like Georgia, Rhode Island recently amended its wage payment statute to expressly authorize the use of payroll cards on a voluntary basis. House Bill number 5590-A amended section 28-14-10.1 of Rhode Island's General Laws and became effective July 15, 2015. Under the revised statute, employers may pay an employee using a payroll card so long as the employee has provided written or electronic consent. The statute continues to require employee consent for traditional direct deposit as well.
The new law requires employers to select payroll card programs that comply with Federal Regulation E, and allow employees to make at least one withdrawl of up to the employee's new wages each pay period without cost. If an employee is paid more ferquently than weekly, the program must instead allow at least one withdrawal each week of up to the full amount of the employee's wages for the week without cost. Global Cash Card offers all protections required by federal Regulation E and allows cardholders the ability to make an unlimited number of free withdrawals at any bank that is a member of the payment brand (i.e., Visa or MasterCard).
House Bill 5590-A became Act Number 246, and can be viewed at webserver.rilin.state.ri.us/PublicLaws/law15/llaw15246.htm.