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Employer issued stop payment on final paycheck Massachusetts

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  • Employer issued stop payment on final paycheck Massachusetts

    Please advise on any legal rights I have..
    I received and deposited my final paycheck the weekend following my departure from my last job. I left because the job wasnt the right fit for me. The following Monday, I received a voicemaill from the company who informed me the amount of the check was incorrect and a new check would be issued. I then called my bank who informed me, it could take some time for the stop payment to be processed because it had to go through the Federal Reserve and possibly would not be stopped in time.

    It is now 20 days later the stop payment just went through. This resulted in several overdraft charges to my account. I still have not received the replacement check the company said they would mail. This has caused an extreme hardship for my daughter and I, being a single parent. I realize the company made a mistake in my paycheck and I deposited it not knowing, but did they have a right to issue a stop payment. It was 2 weeks pay and apparently I should of been paid 1 and 1/2 weeks pay. I received nothing in writing from the company just the quick voicemail. I did nothing to bring this on myself. This was their error. Was there some legal process or policy they should of followed. My bank account is now overdrawn $1200 dollars including the overcharges. Please advise.

  • #2
    Your situation sounds unfortunate!

    Your employer did follow proper protocol. They do have a right to place a stop payment on a check they know to be incorrect. I agree that 20 days does seem excessive. Have you contacted HR to follow up? It's possible the replacement was lost in the mail.


    • #3
      not legal advice

      This isn't legal advice, but it's advice on your overdraft fees from your bank.

      If you don't have a record of overdrawing from your bank often, then you can call and explain your situation. Twice I was able to have my fees removed due to the specific situation. They will call it a "one time adjustment" and probably give it back to you.

      It never hurts to explain your situation, and the people at the bank do have a heart. And even if they say no, you have only lost a few minutes, and you've got a lot to gain by trying.

      I suggest calling your ex-employer and finding out where the check is and how soon you will have it. Use this knowledge in your discussions with the bank.

      Good Luck!


      • #4
        For people who voluntarily quit their jobs, the law requires payment in full of all wages, with the next regular paycheck. Although the law does allow for corrections to mistakes, 20 days is too long for payroll to non-exempt employees.

        You can contact the Attorney General's office and file a non-payment of wage complaint form ( This type of abuse is exactly what the Wage Act was intended to prohibit.
        This post is by Philip Gordon, a Massachusetts employment attorney (

        This post is NOT legal advice. It is for general/educational information purposes only. You should not rely on this post if you are making decisions, and it does not create an attorney-client relationship. This post may be considered "advertising" under the MA professional rules for attorneys.