Last year was an important one for paycard legislation and this year is shaping up to be no different. Several states began taking a hard stance on the cards after some bad press surrounding improper use of the payment method surfaced. Efforts by the American Payroll Association and the National Consumer Law Center have sought to educate lawmakers and employers on the proper, ethical use of paycards as an alternative payment option.
Prior to 2014, only 16 states addressed paycards in their statutes. An additional 19 states have introduced legislation to regulate the payment method, and 2014 is not even halfway over. This past week Nebraska became the first state to pass new paycard legislation into law favoring the payment option. Nebraska had already been considered a green state, meaning employers are not required to offer employees the option of a paper check. This new legislation will not change that.
Simultaneously, legislation failed to pass this week in Georgia, Virginia, and Wisconsin. The proposed bills in Virginia and Wisconsin would have severely restricted the use of paycards in those states. Roughly 15 other state bills remain in progress and should be resolved by the end of 2014. Paycard regulations in Hawaii should be finalized shortly this year as well, as politicians have been working hard on House Bill 1814 for the past few months. A final decision should be in place by May 1 when Hawaii's legislature adjourns.
Check back with Pay News Now often for more updates as we continue to track paycard legislations throughout the United States.