How to Verify That a Payroll Check Is Good

Both the U.S. Department of Labor and your state labor department require employers to pay employees in an accurate and timely manner. Employers typically pay by cash, check or direct deposit. If you are paid with a live payroll check and you deposit it into your bank account but the funds are unavailable, you can incur bank fees, which can be a significant inconvenience. If you have doubts about your employer's finances, it helps to know if your paycheck is valid before you attempt to cash it.

Step 1

Examine the check and locate the name of the bank on which it is drawn. Find the phone number for the bank.

Step 2

Tell the person who answers the phone at the bank that you want to verify that your paycheck is good. Depending on the bank or the number you call, you may have to go through a series of automated prompts, which take you to customer service. Or you may get a live person immediately, in which case, ask to speak with the appropriate representative about your paycheck issue.

Step 3

Give the bank representative the account number at the bottom of the check, the account holder's name and the amount of the check. The representative can tell you whether the account has enough funds to cover your check, but can't tell you the amount of funds your employer has in its account.

Tip

The information you receive from the bank may only be good for the moment. It can change, for example, if a withdrawal by the employer goes through that same account in the next minute. While some banks verify paychecks for free over the phone, others may require you to visit the branch in person, and still others may require that you pay a verification fee. If your payroll check bounces and you cannot resolve the matter with your employer, file a complaint with your state labor department. The department can order your employer to pay unpaid wages, as well as bank charges and damages, if applicable.

Things You'll Need

  • Bank contact information

  • Employer bank account number

  • Account holder name

  • Payroll check amount

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