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Washington Requires Employers to Reimburse Employees For Fees Caused By Dishonored Checks

On March 11, 2022, Washington amended its wage payment law via House Bill 1794 to require employers to reimburse employee fees when a paycheck is dishonored by non-acceptance or non-payment. The new law becomes effective on June 9, 2022. Employees can request fee reimbursements within 30 days of receiving a dishonored instrument.

The amendment applies to situations when employers pay their employees with an instrument (e.g., cash, check or direct deposit) that is returned for insufficient funds. However, the amendment also protects employers from paying any fees when the employer’s financial institution can provide written evidence that the instrument was returned for nonsufficient funds due to an error.

Next Steps for Employers

Employers should become familiar with the amendment and implement any necessary procedures to manage wage payment instruments dishonored because of insufficient funds and any fees their employees may be charged as a result of the dishonored wage payment.

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