18 May 2016

Not Enough Bullets

In the brave new world of f%$#ing over the American worker, we have the financial innovation (hold on to your wallets) of payroll cards:
Hey, remember our old friends, Darden Restaurants? They’re the dickbag parent company of Olive Garden, Longhorn Steakhouse, and (formerly) Red Lobster, who (allegedly knowingly) source from slave labor and who are legendary within the restaurant industry for screwing over their workers. Yeah, turns out they have a fun new way of screwing their employees out of their hard-earned money. The best part? It’s (mostly) perfectly legal.

The secret is a fun (not at all fun) method of paying their employees called payroll cards. The way payroll cards work is that instead of actual paychecks, employees are given what amounts to a debit card they can use to access their pay. Some (assholes) have argued that this is actually good for workers, because it means they can access their money immediately. But a new report from Restaurant Opportunities Centers United sheds some light on the practice and, well … Darden doesn’t come out of it looking pretty. Among other things, the report found that:
  • 23% of employees surveyed said they were never given instructions on how to use the cards
  • 42% had trouble accessing their money using the cards
  • 63% weren’t told about the fees associated with the card when it was foisted on them
  • 49% said they had no access to an ATM from which they could withdraw their money without a fee
  • 24% reported fees at point of purchase — meaning they had to pay fees when they tried to use the payroll card for a purchase, rather than just a withdrawal
Payroll cards are great for banks: they get to charge exorbitant ATM fees to people whom they would otherwise have never been able to gouge. They’re just as great for the companies themselves, especially in Darden’s case: all told, the practice of using payroll cards saves the company $5 million per year, according to the report. The only people they’re not great for are actual workers, who (as per usual) get hosed in a big way.
Employers are required to offer an alternative, but a lot of them don't, and those that do try to hide it from their workers.

F%$# these folks, without lube.


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