County to implement mandatory direct deposit for employees

Published 9:25 am Friday, June 9, 2017

In an effort to help ease payroll management for county employees, the Carter County Financial Management Committee is implementing a policy requiring all county employees to participate in direct deposit.

During the Committee’s meeting on Wednesday morning, Cater County Finance Director Christa Byrd discussed an issue that her department sometimes encounters.

County employees are paid bi-weekly on Fridays. Some county employees ask to pick up their checks on Thursday if they are going to be off or out of town on Friday. While the checks are dated for the actual payday on Friday, Byrd said some employees picking up their check on Thursday are cashing them that day, which she said can cause problems with the payroll system.

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Byrd asked the Committee if they would consider implementing a policy to help address the issue. In her opinion, she said, a mandatory direct deposit policy would be the simplest way to correct the issues regarding the checks.

She said many county employees already use the direct deposit system.

“New hires have to have direct deposit, but some of our older employees still get a paper check,” Byrd said.

A few years ago, she said the county attempted to implement a mandatory direct deposit policy but employees raised concerns that banks would charge them fees for an account to receive their paycheck. In response to their worries, Byrd said the Finance Department reached to several local banks who were willing to provide free accounts to county employees.

However, despite the discussion by county officials the policy was not implemented at that time.

Carter County Mayor Leon Humphrey made a motion to implement a mandatory direct deposit policy for all county employees. The motion passed unanimously to set the new policy.

Humphrey suggested July 1 for a start date, but Byrd said that would not allow enough time for employees to be informed of the change and set up their bank accounts. Also, Byrd said, some employees of the Carter County School System are off work for the Summer and it may be difficult to ensure they are notified of the change in time to not interrupt their payroll.

The Committee decided to implement the new policy beginning Sept. 1.