Payroll Cards

What’s wrong with Payroll Cards

Large retailers and other employers have increasingly been shifting to cheaper payroll card systems, leaving the burden on low-wage workers of high and hidden fees.  In some cases, payroll card fees have ended up reducing workers’ pay to below the minimum wage. Workers are asked to pay to have a hard copy of a pay stub sent to them, and have to pay a fee to use an out-of-network ATM, charging the worker twice to access their earned wages. Online payroll systems are often inaccessible to those who cannot afford a smartphone, a computer, or internet access. Employees deserve to be able to choose whether to get paystub records, paper checks, direct deposit or payroll cards, and be informed of fees associated with these cards.

The Legislation

In May 2014, the Governor and New York State Department of Labor proposed rules to regulate payroll cards, prohibiting employers in NY from forcing workers to accept their wages on payroll cards. The proposed rules would also ban most fees, so that workers who chose to receive payroll cards would not have to pay to access their own wages.