Saturday, August 24, 2013

Walker Wants State Workers To Pay Surcharge On Their Pay

There is no idea so stupid or repulsive that Scott Walker won't embrace it.  The latest is making state workers get their pay on prepaid debit cards:
A new way for Wisconsin employees to be paid is viewed by some as a tactic by banks to collect more money from consumers. 
State agencies recently announced that employees can elect to receive payment on a prepaid card through a program called Accelapay offered by U.S. Bank. Previously they could receive a paper check or have money directly deposited into a bank account.

A June 30 article in the New York Times reported employers such as McDonald’s, Walgreens and Wal-Mart are increasingly using the cards to cut costs, while in some cases forcing employees to pay fees to use the cards. In Pennsylvania, a McDonald’s employee filed a lawsuit claiming the fees reduced her pay below minimum wage.

Reuters reported in November 2011 that banks would begin pushing such prepaid cards because of Dodd-Frank regulations passed in 2010 that capped the fees they can charge on debit card transactions. The prepaid cards aren’t covered by those rules.

Wisconsin’s card comes with some fees, such as 50 cents for a balance inquiry at a participating ATM and $2 for withdrawals at a non-participating ATM. There are no fees for purchases, receiving cash back from contracted merchants or inactivity.
And this is only the beginning.

I warned the gentle reader about this prepaid payroll card a couple months ago, along with this tidbit:
Many employees say they have no choice but to use the cards: some companies no longer offer common payroll options like ordinary checks or direct deposit.

At companies where there is a choice, it is often more in theory than in practice, according to interviews with employees, state regulators and consumer advocates. Employees say they are often automatically enrolled in the payroll card programs and confronted with a pile of paperwork if they want to opt out.

“We hear virtually every week from employees who never knew there were other options, and employers certainly don’t disabuse workers of that idea,” said Deyanira Del Rio, an associate director of the Neighborhood Economic Development Advocacy Project, which works with community groups in New York.
Marty Beil better get off his ass and start a suit about this before all his workers find their pay cut again so that US Bank can get their cut of the deal.


  1. Absolutely it's a gimme to the banks. It's also another way to encourage spending over saving. But hey, just another proposal to give another business a cut instead of, you know, creating jobs.

  2. What a can't tell me direct deposit is more expensive than making a card for all... another cronyism deal for sure...
    ps. This is Todd "Hot Toddy" Endres posting...thanks again Capper for a great piece...

  3. We will be getting paid in company scrip soon.

  4. Since July of this year, you can no longer receive unemployment checks from the state of Wisconsin. You can elect to either receive direct deposit, or this very same card and the fees associated with it.

    Pay particular attention to this: "Some fees may apply. See card packet for full list of fees."

    And this: "How do I obtain information about fees for my card?
    Fees are located on the Fee Schedule sent to you with your card. You may also call Cardmember Services at 866-276-5114 to request fee information. "

    It's nice that we're making sure large banks are getting a cut of Wisconsin taxpayer's money, because we know how much banks have been hurting. I'm sure this will stimulate economic activity and job growth though. There's nothing quite as economically stimulative as removing money from the hands of consumers who might spend it in the local economy, transferring it instead to a large, out of state bank. Yeah, that's a great way to stimulate demand.

  5. I'm trying to figure how the debit card could ever benefit state employees, who didn't ask for them in the first place. One group that will benefit from this change is robbers. A thief need only stand outside the GEF building in Madison on a payday Thursday to pick off the wages of state employees by stealing their debit cards as they exit the building at quitting hour. Wisconsin - open for business.

  6. Walker needs to squeeze public employees so he can give out half million dollar grants to "sportsmen" who have no experience to do what the grant is supposed to do, but are Wisconsin Republican cronies.
    Sportsmen's grant criticized as 'sweetheart deal' for group
    Group with no record of outdoors training could get $500,000 every 2 years

  7. And how does Walker get paid? I'm guessing it is not by some debit card!

  8. State employees are not being forced to use the card. Paper checks and direct deposit are still options. Furthermore, I don't believe that Walker directly makes decisions such as this.

    1. Apparently you do not know our Governor very wel