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Cashing Pay Checks

Reviewed 6/14/2022
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We were asked if a bank could charge an someone a fee for cashing a paycheck when they don't have an account at the bank. Yes, the bank can charge a fee but that doesn't mean that the employee has to lose money. An administrative decision by the New Hampshire Department of Labor spells it out:

"The law requires that an employer must pay an employee all wages due and owing. RSA 275:43 I (e) places the burden on the employer to issue pay checks that can be cashed locally without cost to the employee. In this case the employer’s bank was charging a service fee to an employee who did not have a personal account at the banking institution. This is an unreasonable burden to put on the employee and should be worked out by the employer." (Case No. 47939, Decision issued: July 18, 2014)

We're used to hearing about court decisions, but administrative agencies make orders and decisions every day that affect people's lives. Historically, agency decisions tended to be much more difficult to find than court decisions. Now, many agencies put their decisions online. Look first at the agency's website; you can find a list of agencies through If the decisions aren't online, contact the agency to find out if decisions are public and how they can be accessed.