Payroll cards? A really good lawsuit against them

I work for myself. When I worked for others, I got a paycheck. When technology advanced, I set up direct deposit of my pay into my bank account.

It worked well. So I’ve not paid a lot of attention to this new business of paying low-salary employees with payroll debit cards. The instant I thought about it, though, I got mad.

So did Natalie Gunshannon, 27, who, according to Jessica Silver-Greenberg’s NYT article yesterday:

…made $7.44 an hour working at a McDonald’s franchise in Dallas, Pa. Saying she was forced to use a payroll card issued by JPMorgan, Ms. Gunshannon quit her job and sued the franchise owners.

On Monday, the owners of the McDonald’s franchise, Albert and Carol Mueller, announced that they were changing their policy and would offer direct deposit and paper paychecks to their employees. Ms. Gunshannon’s lawsuit, which seeks punitive damages, is still going forward, her lawyer said.

And so is our charging New York State Attorney General, Eric Schneiderman.

What an abuse these dreadful companies are inflicting on their employees! And if I’ve understood this scam correctly — and of course I have — big banks, which won’t invite or allow low-income people to open their own checking accounts, are basically forcing them to hold bank debit cards and pay the big fees these same banks charge.

Let’s all throw up, right now.

And why doesn’t some organization — obviously the rich beyond rich companies themselves won’t do — set up a no-fee or non-profit bank into which low-salary employees who don’t have the money to open bank accounts at the rich beyond rich banks, like JPMorgan, can have their payroll deposited?

Working Families Party: pay attention. Why not add a Working Families Bank to your mission?

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