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Can Employer Require I Have a Bank Account?

Can an employer force an employee to open a savings account in order to direct deposit paychecks? Can the employer open the employee's account using the employee's social security number?


An employer may require that employees receive their pay via direct deposit to a bank or credit union account, but the employer may not specify the financial institution. Some employers offer payroll account cards to their employees who can't or prefer not to maintain a bank account. These cards operate as prepaid debit cards, and may have additional features that make them much like traditional bank accounts.

When any form of financial institution account is opened, the depositor's Social Security number must be provided. Your employer cannot access the deposit account, using your Social Security number. Just because your employer insists that you have an account does not mean that it gets access to it.

There is one exception: if your employer happens to be the bank that holds the account, certain limited bank employee access is normally expected. For example, bank employees whose accounts are maintained with their employer are subject to internal control and audit reviews. For that reason, some bank employees prefer not to have their accounts where they work.

Published on 5/21/08