Payday in Georgia has just got a little more convenient for some lower wage workers.
Gov. Nathan Deal recently signed into a law a bill that allows employers to give employees the option of receiving a traditional paycheck, having wages directly deposited into a bank account or receiving their payroll on a prepaid debit card.
There are many people in Georgia, especially service workers and those in the agriculture industry, who are unable to open a checking or savings account, making it difficult and costly to cash paychecks or impossible to take advantage of direct deposit.
The prepaid payroll debit card method offers a secured alternative to cash and helps avoid issues many employees face with fraud and fees associated with physical checks. Employees who receive their wages with the debit card can use the card for purchases just as with any other debit card. They can also withdraw cash from ATMs.
This method has been used in other states, but some employers in Georgia were reluctant to use it until the state law was amended and clarified.
The law requires any employer who elects to use the prepaid payroll debit card to provide the employee a written description of any bank fees associated with the program and allows 30 days for an employee to request a physical check in lieu of a debit card. Employees can also transfer at any time to direct deposit.
We have previously written about the benefits and concerns of payroll debit cards. Please let us know if you would like more information.