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Pennsylvania House of Representatives
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House Co-Sponsorship Memoranda

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House of Representatives
Session of 2013 - 2014 Regular Session


Posted: May 6, 2014 08:51 AM
From: Representative Ed Neilson
To: All House members
Subject: Request for Co-sponsorship: Debit Cards for Payment of Wages
In the near future, I plan to introduce legislation amending the current Wage Payment and Collection Act, further defining terms, adding provisions for employers in the state using payroll debit cards to pay their employees’ wages and prescribing penalties for those employers found to be in violation of the act.

It has recently come to my attention that a growing number of employers in the state are utilizing debit cards in the payment of employee wages. Ridden with hidden fees, an employee who is compensated in this manner receives a wage reduced by numerous card transaction fees, thereby reducing the actual amount of their income.

Garnering national attention, a recent article in the Scranton Times-Tribune describes the resulting class action lawsuit filed by employees of the Shavertown McDonald’s who were forced to accept payment of their wages via debit cards laden with hidden fees. According to the Times-Tribune article, examples of the transaction fees charged when employees use the payroll cards range from $0.75 for online bill payment, to $10 per month if the card remains inactive for a period of more than three months.

My legislation establishes parameters for employers using payroll cards as an option for the payment of employee wages. These guidelines will ensure that employees have access to their full wages and are provided unlimited access to their accounts via numerous no-cost methods. Any practice inflicting unnecessary harm to our workers must be discouraged. Especially in these times of economic challenge, it is imperative that employees be paid a fair day’s pay for a fair day’s work. As committed legislators, we must protect the rights of our workers, ensuring that they receive every cent of their hard-earned pay.

I hope you will join me in co-sponsoring this important legislation.

Introduced as HB2274