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CA: Employer Deposited Paycheck into an Account Not Owned by me

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  • CA: Employer Deposited Paycheck into an Account Not Owned by me

    I work for the state government in California.

    3 weeks prior to my regular payday, I submitted a form to my HR to stop direct deposit and to start issuing me paper checks. 1 week later, I got direct deposited my OT check which was no surprise considering it usually takes them awhile to make the change. On payday I expected a paper check, however, I received a direct deposit slip instead but no paycheck in my bank account. Next day, still no paycheck in my account. I informed HR and they told me to give it until the end of the week as the deposit cleared on their end. I called my bank daily to ask them if there were any pending payroll deposits to which they couldn't see anything. End of the week comes and I still haven't received the paycheck in my account. Called HR, but they were out for the rest of the day.

    The following Monday, my check still hasn't come and I couldn't get a hold of HR that day. I finally got a hold of management in HR and they give me a contact in accounting. I met with accounting and they provided me with the direct deposit receipt. It showed that my paycheck was deposited into an unfamiliar account number that doesn't belong to me. I told them that the account wasn't mine and I could show proof of the account that my paycheck was directed deposited into since I began my position in that department. They said they couldn't take that.

    Accounting said that they switched accounting systems that month and whatever information that was in the old system was automatically transferred over to the new system. They said they don't have old records of my previous account that was registered in the old system because when I submitted my Direct Deposit cancellation form, the account was removed from the system. They also said that they didn't have any paper trail of my direct deposit account on file (only the form cancelling direct deposits), and that they received my account information from the previous department I transferred from.

    They won't issue me my check because they said that the deposit cleared, but the problem is they submitted my check to an account I've never seen before. Where do I go from here and how do I get my missing paycheck? I don't understand how after I submit my direct deposit cancellation, 1 week later my OT check gets deposited into my account and 2 weeks after that, my regular paycheck gets deposited into an account I've never seen before.

  • #2
    sounds like a transfer of data error. How long ago was it since you transferred departments? Is it possible they picked up a very old bank account?

    The HR/payroll/Accounting should be able to know that you submitted the DD cancellation and they should have printed a check since they admitted your old information was deleted and they should have some documentation from you where that account # originally came from (which I suspect they will find they don't have). I guess they are claiming timing such that the paycheck went into the account...and then your account # was deleted. That could be true since they are going through a transition. But payroll should have some transaction listings for each payroll run showing the DD and what account(s) they went to even if it is not on your specific payroll record anymore. They have to be able to undo the transaction if there is a mistake (such as this) and would need that information even if deleted from your specific record (and it is very dumb if that doesn't exist)

    Unfortunately it might take time to unroll their mistake. I know when an employee has actually given wrong account number OR closed their account and not told me, it takes 3-5 business days to get the DD returned and I can't write the check until that happens. And that's when we can prove where the mistake happened.

    I suggest putting your issue into writing as soon as possible with the facts of timing and ask them to provide you with a copy of your DD form with that (wrong) account number on it. Copy the head of HR, the head of Payroll and your boss.

    Comment


    • #3
      Agreed with the other answers. At the end of the day, your major issue is the failure to get paid. Everything else is side show. If all else fails you could file a wage claim with CA DLSE or a small claims court action.
      "Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away".
      Philip K. **** (1928-1982)

      Comment


      • #4
        I transferred departments 6 months ago. The account they deposited the money into isn't an old account because I've only ever had 1 other bank account with my current bank and the account numbers aren't the same. Plus they said that the deposit has already cleared on payroll's end.

        I asked them where they got the account number that they deposited my check into, but they said it was transferred from the old system. They have no documentation of where they got this account number from. I also asked them if they could just pull up all of my previous direct deposit receipts and compare accounts; every direct deposit that I have received from my department since I transferred went into only 1 account. They said they couldn't do this because of possible fraud and that during the 2 weeks between my OT check and my regular paycheck, I could have emailed someone from accounting to change my account number. Is this even a valid reason? It just seems ridiculous to me because I submitted a DD cancellation form 3 weeks prior and I had to go through HR's management to even get accounting's contact number.

        The only solution they gave me was to get the direct deposit form from my previous department showing the account number that my paycheck was supposed to be deposited into. However, shouldn't all of my paperwork have been sent when I transferred departments? After all, they DID transfer my account number accurately in the first place. It's just now I'm having this problem when I submitted the cancellation paperwork and they switched systems.

        I went ahead and contacted my previous department and urgently requested for my personnel files and payroll records but because I'm not a current employee, they said that I'll have to wait up to 3 weeks for them to send it out to me. It's already been 2 weeks since I brought this to the attention of HR and my boss, and now it might be another 3 weeks until I get my records.

        I'm getting really anxious that as more time passes by, my issue will be just swept under the rug and I'll never get my paycheck. In their eyes, I've already been paid because the bank never returned the payment and the deposit already cleared on the employer's end. Ive contacted my bank and as expected, they said my employer has to rectify this. I've been emailing HR to update them on what I'm doing with this issue, but haven't gotten any responses to my questions because of how busy they are. I've even missed hours from work driving from my office to HR, account, and my previous department. Just curious if there's anything else I can do in the meantime or anything to expedite this process instead of just waiting.

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by DAW View Post
          Agreed with the other answers. At the end of the day, your major issue is the failure to get paid. Everything else is side show. If all else fails you could file a wage claim with CA DLSE or a small claims court action.
          DAW, my wife brought up filing a wage claim but truthfully, I'm second thinking it. As I mentioned, I work for a governmental department within the state of California and I'm afraid of losing my job over this or the stigma that it comes with.

          Comment


          • #6
            They can and will get into hot water if they retaliate for you making a wage claim....

            Someone on the payroll accounting side is not being logical if it worked multiple times after your transfer but all the sudden didn't. They really need better tracking if they can't (1) prove the change and (2) fix an error. If you truly had sent them an email changing the number, they should also have a copy of that. Sounds pretty incompetent if you ask me. I am sorry you are dealing with incompetence. I suspect your only real recourse is to file the claim.

            (I also answered on the other board....I hadn't realized you posted both here and there....many of the posters are the same)

            Comment


            • #7
              Is there a Payroll Manager over the accounting person you could speak to? If the accounting person doesn't have a full understanding of the payroll system, they may not realize how to look up account numbers for previous deposits.

              I would think the state has some auditing functions built into their system so they can prove they paid the correct person.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by atron View Post
                DAW, my wife brought up filing a wage claim but truthfully, I'm second thinking it. As I mentioned, I work for a governmental department within the state of California and I'm afraid of losing my job over this or the stigma that it comes with.
                Talk to the payroll manager or the HR manager. Say "I have not been paid". Answer their questions but do not bring up this side show stuff unless asked. A wage claim is always that last resort, not the first resort. Do the obvious stuff inside first before involving CA-DLSE.
                "Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away".
                Philip K. **** (1928-1982)

                Comment


                • #9
                  I've brought up my issue to an HR manager and asked if they could take a look into my missing paycheck, but was told that the person I originally contacted in HR was my "go to" person because she's the one who knows the details of my problem. When I went to accounting, I spoke with an accounting staff employee and his supervisor, and they were the ones who told me to track my old DD slip from my previous department. I'll try to get in contact with their manager as well and hope they find a solution to this.

                  I really appreciate all the responses. hr for me, I saw your response on the other board, thanks for responding there as well. I wasn't aware that some posters here post on multiple boards.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    you are welcome! I thought I was going batty -- I remembered answering but then couldn't find it!

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Yes, a lot of us post on multiple boards. Not a problem - just so you know.
                      The above answer, whatever it is, assumes that no legally binding and enforceable contract or CBA says otherwise. If it does, then the terms of the contract or CBA apply.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        OK, the HR Manager directed you back to the person who didn't handle the situation in the first place. I would have objected at that time, that said person was not handling the issue and that's why you were coming to them, but since you didn't I think your now obligated to one more round. Go back to the first person you contacted in HR as directed and ask them one more time to fix the problem and a reasonable time frame to do so. If it still doesn't get resolved, email the HR Manager again (do it in writing). This time you say, I have tried to resolve this with Mrs. Smith as you directed, but it still is not fixed. At this time, I am asking you to intervene directly to get this resolved. I do not want to have to resort to filing a wage claim with the CA-DLSE. Please let's work together to resolve this quickly and amicably." I think if you mention that, it will get some people off their butts. Just do it politely and respectfully.
                        Last edited by ferretrick; 03-21-2016, 06:11 AM.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Why do you want paper checks and not direct deposit?

                          (It's just barely possible that the answer to that question may provide additional options.)
                          The above answer, whatever it is, assumes that no legally binding and enforceable contract or CBA says otherwise. If it does, then the terms of the contract or CBA apply.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by cbg View Post
                            Why do you want paper checks and not direct deposit?

                            (It's just barely possible that the answer to that question may provide additional options.)

                            I wanted to change the account that my direct deposit went into. How I was told to do it was to submit 2 forms - one to cancel and another to add a new account.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Ah, okay. I had something specific in mind but since it doesn't apply I won't confuse the issue any further.
                              The above answer, whatever it is, assumes that no legally binding and enforceable contract or CBA says otherwise. If it does, then the terms of the contract or CBA apply.

                              Comment

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