News & Events




Statement on Proposed NYS Payroll Card Rules

New Economy Project commends the Governor and NYS Department of Labor for advancing workers’ rights in New York State, by issuing strong proposed rules to regulate payroll cards.  As large retail and restaurant chains and other employers shift to payroll card systems, low-wage workers have borne the brunt of high and hidden fees.  In some cases, payroll card fees have ended up reducing workers’ pay to below the minimum wage.

The DOL rules proposed this week would prohibit employers in NYS 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. The rules, as proposed, would be among the strongest of their kind in the country. 

New Economy Project and allies have exposed how employers and big banks profit from payroll cards at the expense of low-wage workers, and called on NYS to crack down on the industry.  We have found that low-wage workers in New York are routinely hit with unexpected fees — including ATM, balance inquiry, and inactivity fees; fees to receive paper statements; and fees to talk with a customer service representative.

“Payroll card programs unfairly shift costs from large employers to low-wage workers,” said Susan Shin, New Economy Project’s Senior Staff Attorney.  “By enacting strong payroll card rules, NYS will ensure that working New Yorkers are not unfairly deprived of their hard-earned wages.”

There is a 45-day comment period before the rules go into effect.  New Economy Project and allies will press for a strong final rule.