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CFPB: Employers can't force workers to be paid via cards

BusinessU.S. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau

Workers take note: Your boss can’t force you to accept wages on payroll cards.

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau sent out this reminder after hearing of reports that some businesses, especially retailers and fast-food restaurants, would only pay workers through a card. Workers complained that the cards came with all sorts of fees for ATMs, teller withdrawals or just to check the balance, the CFPB said.

Linda Sherry, with Consumer Action, said payroll cards are “definitely cheaper” for businesses than issuing paper checks. Payroll cards also make it easier for companies to pay workers who don’t have a bank account, she said.

The least expensive option for workers, she says, is to have pay directly deposited in a bank account.

If you do want your wages via a payroll card, you have some federal protections, the CFPB said.

You must receive a disclosure of fees, the card must provide statements or give access to account balances and a record of activity for the past 60 days.

Liability for unauthorized use of your card is limited, provided you report the problem within a certain time. Plus, financial institutions must respond to a report of an error if you make it within 60 days of getting a statement or accessing the account history, or within 120 days after the mistake occurred.

Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun
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