Senate Dems want oversight of payroll cards

ADVERTISEMENT
Employers sometimes use the cards to distribute pay as an alternative to giving their workers checks or putting money in their accounts via direct deposit. The cards can be considered easier for people without bank accounts.

The payroll cards can carry fees, though, for services like using an ATM, checking one’s balance or for inactivity, which the senators worry violate consumer protection regulations and take advantage of people. Those fees can add up to some workers effectively getting paid less than the minimum wage, and employers can receive commissions for getting employees to use the cards, according to a New York Times report. 

The senators want the agencies to focus their attention on whether or not workers understand the fee structure of the cards and whether they violate existing laws.

Additionally, the lawmakers worry that employers may be taking advantage of their workers to get them to use the cards instead of other payment methods.

“Perhaps even more worrying than the fees associated with these cards is the possibility that employees might be coerced or inappropriately pressured into using them in the first place,” they wrote.

They added, “Our view is that mandating the use of a particular payroll card, with no available alternative, seems clearly to violate federal law.”

The Department of Labor should consider issuing new rules to make employees aware of their different payment options, the senators wrote.

The 16 Democrats who signed the letter are Sens. Richard BlumenthalRichard BlumenthalOnly Congress can enable drone technology to reach its full potential Overnight Regulation: Labor groups fear rollback of Obama worker protection rule | Trump regs czar advances in Senate | New FCC enforcement chief Dems urge Sessions to reject AT&T-Time Warner merger MORE (Conn.), Chuck SchumerCharles SchumerSenate Dems step up protests ahead of ObamaCare repeal vote Senate Dems plan floor protest ahead of ObamaCare repeal vote Dem senator: Don't bet against McConnell on ObamaCare repeal MORE (N.Y.), Joe ManchinJoe ManchinDems face identity crisis This week: Senate races toward ObamaCare repeal vote Senate Republicans reluctant to rush vote on healthcare bill MORE (W.Va.), Tom HarkinTom HarkinDistance education: Tumultuous today and yesterday Grassley challenger no stranger to defying odds Clinton ally stands between Sanders and chairmanship dream MORE (Iowa), Barbara BoxerBarbara BoxerTime is now to address infrastructure needs Tom Steyer testing waters for Calif. gubernatorial bid Another day, another dollar for retirement advice rip-offs MORE (Calif.), Dick DurbinDick DurbinSenate Dems set principles for potential budget negotiation Dem senator: GOP's healthcare approach will 'devastate Medicaid' Sunday shows preview: Senate healthcare debate heats up MORE (Ill.), Debbie StabenowDebbie StabenowNo certainty on cost-sharing payments to insurers Dems express concerns about Trump's proposed rural development cuts Trump, Clinton campaign aides launch their own bids MORE (Mich.), Robert MenendezRobert MenendezBipartisan group, Netflix actress back bill for American Latino Museum The Mideast-focused Senate letter we need to see Taiwan deserves to participate in United Nations MORE (N.J.), Ben CardinBen CardinDem senators urged Obama to take action on Russia before election Overnight Cybersecurity: Trump tweetstorm on Russia probe | White House reportedly pushing to weaken sanctions bill | Podesta to testify before House Intel Senate expected to pass Russia sanctions bill for a second time MORE (Md.), Bob CaseyBob CaseyLive coverage: Senate Dems hold talkathon to protest GOP health plan Ryan Phillippe to visit Capitol Hill to advocate for military caregivers Dem senators seize on Senate press crackdown MORE (Pa.), Jeff MerkleyJeff MerkleyMerkley: Trump 'absolutely' tried to intimidate Comey Overnight Regulation: Labor groups fear rollback of Obama worker protection rule | Trump regs czar advances in Senate | New FCC enforcement chief Dems urge Sessions to reject AT&T-Time Warner merger MORE (Ore.), Brian Schatz (Hawaii), Martin HeinrichMartin HeinrichDems push for more action on power grid cybersecurity The Memo: Five takeaways from Jeff Sessions’s testimony Overnight Cybersecurity: Sessions denies Russia collusion | First agency gets 'A' grade on IT | Feds out North Korean botnet | Unusual security update for Windows XP MORE (N.M.), Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth WarrenSenate Dems step up protests ahead of ObamaCare repeal vote Major progressive group rolls out first incumbent House endorsement Speaker Ryan, the fate of our policy toward Russia rests in your hands MORE (Mass.), Mark WarnerMark WarnerOvernight Cybersecurity: Obama faces new scrutiny for Russia response | UK parliament cyberattacked | Election hacking fears put heat on DHS | Feds appeal to Supreme Court over data warrants Election hacking fears turn heat on Homeland Security Are Democrats trying to pin the blame for their own sins on Russia? MORE (Va.) and Al FrankenAl FrankenSenate Dems step up protests ahead of ObamaCare repeal vote Democrats must end fiery rhetoric against AT&T-Time Warner merger Drug pricing order would cut regulations MORE (Minn.).