I’ve had automatic deposit at jobs before.  It made life so much easier.  And sometimes my paycheck got deposited a day early (well, a few hours earlier). 

I’m sure you understand that in the entertainment industry, jobs are finite.  It’s like being a consultant on a fixed length contract.  Some jobs last only a day.  Some last a few weeks.  Some can run several months.  But they all come to an end.  So, I haven’t been doing the automatic deposit thing much since it isn’t worth the paperwork hassle.  However, just this past week I’ve had two companies ask me to fill out their electronic deposit authorizations forms.  One almost insisted on it.  Thus, I’ve read through the boiler-plate language that’s used in these agreements  – twice.  And I was highly alarmed!

Of course the provisions allow them to make deposits to your account like you would expect, but they also put in language allowing them to debit from your account (i.e. take money out).  What?!  Sure, I understand that they might make a mistake and overpay you.  Although that’s never happened to me yet.   But there are no protections in the language requiring them to inform you before they debit your account.  Now is that right?  If they underpay you (which has happened to me before), you have to talk to them about it if before you can get the rest of your pay.  But if they think they’ve overpaid you, these agreements allow them to just rip the money out of your account without any warning or discussion. 

Anybody else have problems with that deal?  Do you know of anybody who actually had money taken out of their account by an employer?  Does anyone know of laws out there that limit these provisions in some way?  Maybe it’s a moot point, and I shouldn’t worry.  But it made the hair on the back of my neck stand up when I realized what they wanted me to authorize them to do in their automatic “deposit” agreement.

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