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Who’s supposed to hand out payroll checks?

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John Wilcox

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in Human Resources,The HR Specialist Forum

As part of my new job, I was told that I would be responsible for handing out payroll checks to the entire staff—hundreds of employees! Some of them are live checks, too. (Why people don’t direct deposit is beyond me.) The result is that I’m spending a good chunk of every other Friday tracking down people, leaving notes on their desks, sending e-mails and so forth, all so they can get their pay envelopes. Is it normal for HR to pass out checks? Shouldn’t someone from accounting be handling this?—R, Cali

See responses below

{ 11 comments… read them below or add one }

Melissa K Myers November 17, 2018 at 11:01 pm

My boss is out of the office on medical leave and we get paid this Monday. Will we still get paid.


ann dantuono May 5, 2018 at 12:16 pm

My payday is on Friday every two weeks. For 2 1/2 years the employer has left the paychecks in a basket outdoors for those of us whose shifts end after business hours. This past Friday I recieved a text from an office worker as I was getting ready for work, telling me checks no longer will be left for us and I can get my check 9-5 Mon-Fri. No notice, no warning, I have not been able to get my check for a week. I work 2-3 jobs and depend on my check. One month ago I arrive to find my paycheck not in basket with everone elses. Office closed for the
weekend. Payroll person told me my check blew away. I got a hand written check no stub the following Tues. These ate just two of the several incidents. The agency is in RI, should I report them?


Kim June 29, 2016 at 4:34 pm

For two years, I have had employees calling me to give their check to another company employee. I recently required them to sign a form to allow me to release their paycheck, but they are putting 4-5 other employees on these forms. These are part-time employees and most under the age of 25 who don’t seem to have a grasp on the dangers involved in letting all their friends pick up their check. Am I bound to let other individuals pick up an employee’s paycheck?


Mike March 26, 2012 at 7:46 pm

I have a similar question regarding payroll checks. Our HR distributes checks every other Friday. If you are not at your desk, they will leave the check on your keyboard. Here’s the part that makes me angry-The payroll checks are not in an envelope.
I’ve requested that my check be delivered in a sealed envelope. My request was declined due to the cheapest HR manager citing that every envolope costs money. I offered to buy an entire box of envelopes for $4.00. My check is directly deposited, however, I do not want my co-workers to stumble across my check-I’m the IT manager and am often away from my desk.

Do I have the right to request that my check be mailed directly to my house instead of being left at my desk? I can’t seem to find any information regarding this on any California HR website.


Penny February 1, 2011 at 4:23 pm

We actually do not hand out any paychecks or mail… We now have a online system that allows employees to log in and get their stubs directly as all of our employees are on direct deposit. This allows them to view print whenever they choose. Their paystub is available 2 days before pay day


R Cali January 21, 2011 at 7:39 pm

I reread my quesiton and realized I forgot to mention that I work in Sales, I don’t work in HR at all. Do you think it’s normal for HR to give checks to a random employee to pass out? I have no affiliation with HR at all.

R Cali


R Cali January 21, 2011 at 7:35 pm

Thanks for the responses everyone! I appreciate it :)
R Cali


Sherrie Sigman January 20, 2011 at 2:34 pm

I handle our payroll as well as HR and hand out our bi-weekly payrolls. I mail out checks for our out of state employees and for those employees that I do not see in the office on Friday’s. I will make a check run in the morning after 9 am allowing most people to arrive. For those not available I will either hold there check and let them come to my office and pick them up or I will leave them in their sealed envelope with their immediate supervisor to be picked up if I am not going to be available later in the day.
I would send out a company memo stating the times you are available for employees to stop by and pick up there checks after you make an initial check run.


Gloria January 20, 2011 at 10:57 am

Good Lord, I remember doing this. It takes a very long time. HR and Accounting don’t need to pass out checks. The manager or Assistant of the area can also pass them out which is what was done in 2 global corporate financial firms. I would create a distribution list and direct them to your desk to pick it up. Check their id badges. Have a sign off sheet with the date. After that, hand them the check. Or, you can have each area designate someone to pick up a batch of checks for everyone who works in their area. It will be their responsiblity to distribute them. Still use that sign off sheet and check the badges.


Debby January 18, 2011 at 5:17 pm

R Cali,

Quite often it is HR’s responsibility to pass out paychecks, however one way to save you some time is make one pass to distribute, then send a company email telling employee’s to come see you to pick up their check if you missed them in the first pass.


Roni January 18, 2011 at 5:17 pm

Perhaps you could establish a policy:
If you can’t find someone and they don’t pick up their check at your office by the end of the day on Friday-you will mail the paycheck to their home address.


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