We all lose items from time to time. When it comes to an employee losing a paycheck, unfortunately, there isn’t a one-size-fits-all solution. Depending on where you’re located and the laws that govern the state, rules will differ.
Additional factors are whether the check was lost before or after the employee received it. In case this ever happens, you may want to consider a policy in place to guide the next course of action. With that being said, let’s take a look at some bothering questions:
When Is/Should An Employer Be Responsible For Replacing A Paycheck?
In cases such as the paycheck not arriving due to the address being printed incorrectly or being sent to the wrong address because payroll didn’t update the personnel records, the employer would take responsibility and reissue the check. There may be some other vague and unique situations when it comes to a misplaced check and when this happens, the employer should step in and rectify the situation.
What If The Lost Paycheck Was The Employees Mistake?
When a paycheck is misplaced by an employee, it is still a stressful situation. As an employer, you will still need to help, even if it is the employee’s fault. The employee should notify payroll immediately and work with your team to identify the options of reissuing a check and any fees associated with that process. Also, the missing check will need to be canceled.
What Steps Should Be Taken If A Paycheck Is Lost?
First, advise the employee to wait 1-3 days before declaring the check irrevocably missing. This allows time for the check to turn up or be found therefore avoiding the process of a re-issue if necessary. If they still can’t find the check after the waiting period, the bank has to be contacted to stop payment. Now, if the check has already been cashed, it’s not your duty or the employee’s right to reimburse them if you’re not at fault. If the check has been cashed without the employee’s knowledge, they will need to work with their bank or authorities on recuperating those monies, especially if it was fraudulent.
After stopping payment, the check will need to be reissued. Typically, stopping a check comes with bank charges. It may be unlawful in some states to transfer this cost to the employee, and they’ll need to sign off on deductions before you proceed. If necessary, the employer can ask the employee to make payment separately rather than making any deductions.
How Long Should It Take To Reissue A Paycheck?
The entire process of completing the paperwork, contacting the bank to stop payment on the check, and receiving the new paycheck can take weeks. Lost checks are not a frequent phenomenon, so, understandably, not many companies have fast procedures for this. Documents can take days before they’re processed. Many companies manage expectations by advising that it’ll take around two weeks to receive a reissued paycheck.
Should You Create A Check Reissue Policy?
Yes! By creating a policy, you manage expectations and avoid messy situations where angry employees demand their money. A good policy should contain what the law requires and the actions that would be taken if they’re at fault for misplacing a check.