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Can a potential employer refuse to hire me because I do not want direct deposit in California?

Norco, CA |

I am a 1099 contractor but I accepted a W-2 position for less than 40 hours a week for approximately 8 weeks. I am scheduled to start next week, but when I received the paperwork there is a form for direct deposit that I am told to fill out.

Can the employer refuse to hire me if I do not authorize direct deposit?


I understand that California has a law preventing mandatory direct deposit. Would this law apply in this instance? In other words, couldn't I legally request to be paid in some other form and wouldn't he have to accept that?

Attorney Answers 2


I disagree with Doland's answer.

Labor Code Section 212 lists the way wages may be paid, and it does not include direct deposit. However, Section 213(d) says direct deposit is allowed only if an employee voluntarily authorizes the deposit.

If someone is fired or not hired because the employer demands an illegal method of paying wages I would not preclude any liability. I suspect the legislative history also lists numerous reasons why direct deposit cannot be required. One obvious one may be racial discrimination because minorities are less likely to have a bank account.

To require direct deposit means the employer is requiring that an employee have a bank account as a condition of employment, and arguably the employer must pay for the bank account.

On the other hand ...

Most people are much better off doing what is necessary to get a job and get paid, and to start things off on the right foot with their new employer.

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Michael Charles Doland

Michael Charles Doland


Let me thank you for the information. I did not realize there was a specific statute on the subject. I was also focused on the "not hiring" versus "firing", but based on your specific reply I have learned it does not make a difference.


There is no legal reason why the employer could not refuse to hire you for not wishing to comply with his administrative requests or requirements.

The above is general legal and business analysis. It is not "legal advise" but analysis, and different lawyers may analyse this matter differently, especially if there are additional facts not reflected in the question. I am not your attorney until retained by a written retainer agreement signed by both of us. I am only licensed in California. See also terms and conditions item 9, incorporated as if it was reprinted here.

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Michael Charles Doland

Michael Charles Doland


I defer to the answer of Mr. Kindsvater and thank him for pointing out a statutory provision I was not aware of.

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