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Via Flickr
Via Flickr

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.

“But how can this be legal?” you ask. “Surely, this is America, where we won’t tolerate this sort of thing?” Oh, you sweet summer child.

OK, technically, that’s not fair: payroll cards actually ARE of dubious legality — at least when it comes to their exclusive use. Most importantly for purposes of this discussion, federal courts have ruled that employers must provide an alternative choice for employees other than a payroll card. Unfortunately, that isn’t what happens in practice, and Darden is no different: 26% of those surveyed in the report said they were never given an alternative method of payment aside from payroll cards. To put it succinctly, that is a big fuckin’ no-no from the purveyor of never-ending D-grade breadsticks.

Darden is far from the only company to do this (Applebee’s was doing it back in 2008 when I was working for them, and I was never given the option of an alternative method of payment), of course; if there’s one sort of innovation guaranteed to catch on within the restaurant industry, it’s a new way to screw their workers. But since Darden has a history of employee fuckery, it’s more than fair to single them out.

Basically, fuck ’em; they’re a worthless company and the world would be a better place if every one of their board members and high-level management staff were thrown in jail. Unfortunately, Managing With Intent To Be A Dickbag isn’t a crime, so the best we can probably hope for is some major lawsuits, and to that end, all we can say is “OHPLEASEOHPLEASEOHPLEASEOHPLEASE.”

[ROC]

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  • Lizzietish81

    First up against the wall when the revolution comes?

    • SessileRaptor

      With all the people who deserve to be first up against it, we’re going to need a longer wall…

      • Gayer Than Thou

        I know a guy who thinks he can build a very long wall.

        • Creepoman

          With that in mind, I’ve done a complete 180 on this issue – Build the dang wall!

          • Amy!

            So, if Trump’s wall were to be built, would it be long enough for one percent of the US adult population to stand with their backs to it, shoulder to shoulder?

            It’s an interesting thought, and one that could also help sales of that poor, always-sluggish industry so important to the health of the American economy, the virtuous manufacturers of all-american firearms.

            (we’d have to rechamber all the rifles for votes, of course)

          • Creepoman

            In fact, it would be more than adequate – at 1,989 miles, the wall can accommodate 1.65% of the US population, standing shoulder to shoulder on 2-foot spacing. And the Canadian border wall, at 5,535 miles can handle almost half the population of Canada. Line forms to the right, starting with Raphael “Ted” Cruz, Esq.

        • RumAddled

          It’ll be youge!

    • AntiDerpomeme

      We can roast the carcasses and serve them with some sort of tomato-based sauce and unlimited breadsticks. Yum!

      • Creepoman

        Soylent spinach tortellini

        • willi0000000

          . . . but i don’t like soy.

    • AlasAnAss

      We’re gonna need a bigger wall.

  • Skwerl King

    Next big thing: Payroll cards that expire before your shift ends!

    • Trump’s plan to cut the budget.

      • Christinarcook4

        “my room mate Lori Is getting paid on the internet 98$/hr”…..!tn400rtwo days ago grey MacLaren P1 I bought after earning 18,512 Dollars..it was my previous month’s payout..just a little over.17k Dollars Last month..3-5 hours job a day…with weekly payouts..it’s realy the simplest. job I have ever Do.. I Joined This 7 months. ago. and now making over. hourly 87 Dollars…Learn. More right Here !tn400r:➽:➽:➽➽➽➽ http://GlobalSuperJobsReportsEmploymentsStudyGetPay-Hour$98…. .✸✸✸✸✸✸✸✸✸✸✸✸✸✸✸✸✸✸✸✸✸✸✸✸✸✸✸✸✸✸✸✸✸✸✸✸✸✸✸✸✸✸✸✸✸✸✸✸✸✸::::::!tn400r….,.

  • Anna Elizabeth

    Reason 1000-and-1 never to eat at that shithole.

    Actually, my first evers job was dishwashing at one. They treated me like crap, and when I quit, the asshole manager that didn’t offer breaks or a meal break tried to lecture me about “responsibility”.

    • JohnBull

      I had a catering job that I quit and the manager said much the same thing. My reply included lots of swearing and something about car brakes.

  • Vermonty Python

    Maybe if they made the payroll cards accessible through payday lenders… then they could REALLY fuck their employees.

    • Thatsitfor Theotherwon

      The real ticket is to make the card so that it will go negative if you overspend. Then they can suck that money back out on your next payday.

      Which devious fucks think of this shit?

      • Gayer Than Thou

        Even worse would be a card that allows you to overspend and charges interest, but your next paycheck does not affect the interest-bearing balance (so that it continues to accrue interest and late charges). … Hey – I could get rich this way!

        • Thatsitfor Theotherwon

          I think you just answered my question. ;-)

          • Gayer Than Thou

            I’m more deviant than devious, really.

          • FlownOver

            10/10 on both counts, GTT

  • Reddishrabbit

    I my just go back to the Cruz article, at least I can laugh at his suffering.

  • SessileRaptor

    IF everyone was given proper instructions in how to use the cards, and IF everyone had easy access to no-fee ATMs to withdraw money and IF no stores charged extra fees for using said cards to pay for stuff, these things would be a decent way for SOME workers who CHOOSE to use them to get their pay. As it is, America ruins everything.

    • Thatsitfor Theotherwon

      Probably had too many complaints from employees when they gave them something difficult to exchange, such as cash.

  • Hutch

    My salute to these fuckers –

    • Thatsitfor Theotherwon

      You’re a nasty person. I like that!

    • Gayer Than Thou

      Your salad is happy to see me.

  • OneYieldRegular

    I always thought there was a thoroughly menacing undertone to that “When you’re here, you’re family” schtick – like I could hear Don Corleone saying that to someone he was about to have offed.

    • Ghenghis McCann

      You can choose your friends, but not your relations.

  • Jenny

    Fuck those stupid fucking cards.

    Also I am an evil terrible person, why didn’t I get on this and make all the monies?!? Regrats!

  • anon_the_great

    Union: Now more than ever

    • BloviateMe

      Maybe if we sell it as bloomin’ union rings, it’ll take.

  • BloviateMe

    Yup, Blov’s daughter just started up at Applebee’s a couple months ago, and they are still doing it. Mrs. Blov actually had to get involved with their HR to get rid of the stupid thing. Weak. Terrible.

  • Thatsitfor Theotherwon

    Even their name is fucking stupid. Tomatoes grow in gardens. Olives grow in groves.

    • arglebargle

      Even Mary’s garden only has silver bells, and cockle shells, and pretty maids all in a row. Nary an olive.

      • Blank Ron

        They don’t grow well in Northamptonshire.

        • Thatsitfor Theotherwon

          They’d probably grow in Cornwall on the coast.

  • anwisok

    Perhaps we should “verb” Darden to mean, “Screwed their employees over.” So a conversation would go something like:

    “Hey did you hear about the layoffs at >businessbusiness< really Dardened them bad."

    • Pickwicknext

      I thought that was Fiorinaed?

      • anwisok

        You are, I’m sure, familiar with synonyms, yes?

        • Pickwicknext

          More so with homophones. I had to study up for Jeopardy

          • Jen_Baker_VA

            did you win lots of money on the Jeopardy, and if you did, when can I move in with you?
            Remember, we’re gonna skeet MS’s dishes

          • Pickwicknext

            I made it as far as the contestants pool (had an in person audition and everything), but they aren’t letting Canadians play anymore. Fuckers

          • Jen_Baker_VA

            WAIT. Isn’t Alex a Canadian????

          • Blank Ron

            Eyup.

          • Pickwicknext

            Yes! Well, dual citizen, but that is what pisses me off the most!

  • beatbort

    Not that I wish computer hackery on anyone (or most people), I would make an exception here: Payroll cards that keep pumping out money and never deduct the amount!

  • arglebargle

    Yeah, but according to their website, as an OG employee you get a “dining discount”, so it’s all good. Amirite?

    • SDGeoff

      Applied to the payroll deductions, likely.

  • DoILookAmused2u ?

    It seems to me, the real problem is payroll cards and not anything else.

    Why are they charged a fee when a check is not? Something for the CFPB to take up?

  • FauxAntocles

    Next up: Company printed cash that is only good at Olive Garden!

    • Spotts1701

      Did you peek at the scrip?

      • willi0000000

        was that the scrip for next week’s show?

        [ . . . or did you just want to go to a scrip show? ]

    • Gayer Than Thou

      We pay you in breadsticks and salad!

    • Jen_Baker_VA

      Is that before or after the company housing project. Only 10 roomates and 100 luxurious square feet! 1 bathroom per floor!

    • Creepoman

      With a Jeebus quote on the back?

    • bupkus23

      “Sold my soul to the company sto’…”

  • Relativicus

    I’ve eaten at Olive Garden twice. Once after burying my father, and once after burying an aunt. An analysis of these results leads to only one possible conclusion: people only eat at Olive Garden when someone close to them has died. And now you know…

    • AntiDerpomeme

      I’ve been there about a dozen times for company stuff: client dinners, employee birthday celebrations, after-meeting engagements… Sort of like a death in the family in terms of participant joviality levels.

    • Aquaria

      My mother loves it, and always wanted to eat there when we were out and about. She actually bought me a gift card for there a few years back, but the place where she got it from didn’t ring it up properly, leaving me to pay for their overpriced filth. I was royally pissed at this.

      My phone call to her about it started out as, “It’s bad enough that you gave me a gift card to Vomit Garden, but then they ripped you off with applying funds to it and I actually had to give them my own money for a meal? You do realize that I would rather eat Satan’s left nut than go to that dump at all, don’t you?”

      Thankfully, she got the hint and has never subjected me to Vomit Garden after that tirade.

      I hate that I have to be so nasty to get through to her, but it’s usually the only way.

  • Gayer Than Thou

    I sort of don’t understand (because I didn’t do very well in Employee Payment Systems in college) – I thought direct deposit was a) cheaper for the employer and b) easier for the employee? Are these employees who do not have bank accounts?

    • Creepoman

      I think you missed the part where the cards actually go beyond simply saving money and become a whole new revenue stream for the employer.

    • AntiDerpomeme

      Yes, I think the issue is that this screw seems specific to those folks that don’t have a bank account (my guess would be because disproportionately poor and/or young folks). As per the cited report (emphasis mine):

      Low-wage employers are increasingly using payroll cards to pay their workers’ wages. In 2015, an estimated 7.4 million workers throughout the country received their wages via payroll cards and that number is expected to increase to 12.2 million by 2019. While payment industry advocates argue that payroll cards can serve as a more convenient substitute to cash or checks for employees without traditional bank accounts, policymakers and consumer advocates have convincing critiques of the fees associated with payroll cards. Understanding the challenges payroll cards present for low-wage workers is essential as large retail and food service employers such as Darden Restaurants, McDonalds, Home Depot, and Walmart move towards this payment system as their latest means of reigning in costs and maximizing profit.

      • bupkus23

        More convenient than cash? Oh, brave new world….

    • Jennifer R

      Yes. A lot of people are too poor for a bank account.

  • TheBidenator

    “The only people this affects are teenagers so we don’t need to do anything or to raise wages, either”
    – Conservatives

    • SessileRaptor

      “The only people this problem affects are not-me, so fuck ’em.”
      -Conservatives.

      • TheBidenator

        Basically. Now you’re thinkin’ like a wingnut!

  • Ergoetal

    The bigger picture – the less cash there is in society, the greater the ability of corporations and the government to control the people.

    • bupkus23

      Bullshit conspiratorial thinking there. I hope you were being snarky…

  • Spotts1701

    Why not make the card out of breadsticks? At least then the employees can eat it, which is better than this idiocy.

    • John Frum

      Olive Garden breadsticks do not taste as good as a plastic card.

  • Jen_Baker_VA

    You know, direct deposit is also a very money saving type of payment and shocker, there are no fees involved in that….for the employee anyway (assuming they have der banke ackounten).
    Someone needs to check and see what kind of kick backs off these prepaid cards that Darden is getting.

    • Gayer Than Thou

      I seem to recall that there can be daily limits on the amount you can “withdraw” from these cards. Presumably, the employer only has to part with the employee’s salary when it is spent. That would mean the employer can hold on to the salary beyond payday – earning interest on as-yet unspent salary liabilities. That’s my hunch, anyway.

      • Jen_Baker_VA

        Reminds me of the time my mom went back to school and when she got a job after, the employer had this program where they directly deducted your student loan payment.
        Turned out, they were holding onto that cash and banking on the interest.
        FUCKERS.

      • SessileRaptor

        Uh huh, the limits in theory are there to prevent a thief from emptying a stolen card in one go, but in practice they mainly serve to let the bank shave off more in ATM fees.

      • willi0000000

        the card limits also keep the employee from withdrawing their entire salary in cash at one go thereby minimizing the ATM fees.

        [ fuck these fuckers with a rusty garden weasel . . . they’ve got to go! ]

    • Pickwicknext

      I love direct deposit. It means, on pay day, i can pay my bills in my pajamas before even getting out of bed.

      • Ghenghis McCann

        …and how they got into my pajamas I don’t know.

        (with apologies to Groucho Marx, obviously)

      • AlasAnAss

        Well, that’s one option.

    • bupkus23

      As you say, that’s presuming the employee has a bank account in which to direct deposit. I know it’s hard to believe ( I had a bank account before I had a job ), but a lot of people don’t have one, primarily low-income people. Part of the reason is that too many banks charge fees or impose minimum balances that are hard to meet. Of course, most credit unions are cheaper than commercial banks – but too many people either aren’t aware that they’re eligible for membership, or they’re even more leery of CUs than they are of banks.

      • Jen_Baker_VA

        Yep yep, that is what I meant. I have seen some job postings where they require you have direct deposit ability- at first I thought it was weird, but then I realized you can set up prepaid cards for that now.
        Wonderful world right?

      • theblackdog

        Or they live in an area where CUs don’t really exist. I just checked the area I lived in as a teen out in eastern AZ and it has two CUs in a 45 mile radius, both having one location each. There are way more Bank of America, Chase, and Wells Fargo locations.

        • bupkus23

          Well – you’re right about that, of course. As it is, I’ve been doing my banking with my CU from 800 miles away for the last 9 months, so I guess I missed that possibility…

          • theblackdog

            Thank goodness for mobile banking, right?

  • TheBidenator

    I’m surprised the Olive Garden still exists…they have TERRIBLE food.

    • Pickwicknext

      But…but…they said I’m family!

      • SessileRaptor

        Haven’t you ever had a relative who was a bad cook but you smiled and ate it anyway because they were family? Well there you go.

  • zanzibar_buckbuck_mcfate

    FUCK. This is my daughters’ favorite restaurant. Damn.

    • Pickwicknext

      Why did you not teach your daught taste?

      • zanzibar_buckbuck_mcfate

        Why did your mother not teach you manners? They’re children. Children have awful taste. My favorite restaurant at their age was Shoney’s. They like what they like.

        • Pickwicknext

          Sorry, assumed the daughter was at least a teen. And my mom still regrets teaching me to talk

          • zanzibar_buckbuck_mcfate

            Sorry. I’m undercaffeinated. They’re 6 and 8. Peace.

  • bubbuhh

    Nothing funny here. Won’t ever be eating at

    Olive Garden
    LongHorn Steakhouse
    The Capital Grille
    Yard House
    Bahama Breeze
    Seasons 52
    Eddie V’s

    Darden Restaurant Brands is one of the scummier corporate entities out there. It makes its money off the backs of some of the most poorly paid workers in the USA and, in true Robber Baron style, it squeezes every last dime out of its workers.

    • John Frum

      Bloomin Brands does this, too. That’s Outback, Bonefish Grill, Carrabba’s and Fleming’s Prime.

    • AntiDerpomeme

      Absolutely. Again, from the cited report, because I’m still reading it:

      Darden Restaurants, Inc. is the world’s largest full service restaurant company, owning such iconic and successful brands as Olive Garden, LongHorn Steakhouse, Yard House, and The Capital Grille. Even taking into account its scale, Darden plays an outsized role in dragging down restaurant industry employment standards. Not only does the company fail to provide paid sick days and pay the lowest possible wages to their employees (as low as $2.13 per hour), but Darden actively promotes industry disparities by lobbying for corporate tax breaks, against increases in the minimum wage, and against paid sick days and the Affordable Care Act. As a result, Darden employees struggle to make ends meet and raise their families on poverty wages while Darden shifts costs to taxpayers in communities across the country. A recent report by the Restaurant Opportunities Centers United estimated the annual cost of public assistance provided to Darden employees was $340 million annually, with public assistance to workers at a single Olive Garden restaurant costing nearly $200,000 each year.

    • melina1222

      Crap. I like The Capital Grille. Make that likeD…

  • Scooby

    Why not just give them Olive Garden gift cards?

    • Ghenghis McCann

      That would probably count as Cruel and Unusual Punishment.

  • felis

    The return of company scrip? It really IS a new Gilded Age!

    • Ghenghis McCann

      ‘Truck Acts:
      In the UK a series of Acts directed, from 1830 onwards, against the system whereby workers received their wages in the form of vouchers for goods redeemable only at a special shop (often run by the employer). The Acts required wages to be paid in cash.’

      Darden Restaurants really should check their calendar to see which century it is now.

      • Jen_Baker_VA

        But but but…we were told recycling the old was a good thing!

      • Hardly Ideal

        Careful with that suggestion. If I were an evil franchise owner, I’d look at the calendar, remember that we have computers, and tattoo workers with a QR code that they can only use at the barracks general store.

    • Rick Hill

      With some great synergy going, they can make walmart the company store, as well.

      • Blank Ron

        I’m sure the Walton brats have their lawyers working on that already.

        • Jennifer R

          Last time they tried they lost pretty badly.

          • Blank Ron

            That’s the admirable thing about the 0.01% – they never give up if they think it’ll save them a nickle!

    • georgiaburning

      Plus, the company doesn’t even need to run a store to skim off a chunk of their workers’ wages. That’s progress.

  • Oblios_Cap

    I heard that some MacDonalds were doing this, too and they got slapped down in court.

    • Caepan

      Yup. A McDonalds franchise in Pennsyltucky tried it last year, and lost. Turns out that there’s a law on the books that made it illegal to pay workers in anything but US cash or check. It dates back to when miners were paid in scrip that could only be used for overpriced goods at the company store.

  • Angela Ruzzo

    I don’t eat at Olive Garden. I ate the seafood pasta at one of their restaurants and got mild food poisoning. Two years later I tried it again at a different outlet in a different city, and got mild food poisoning a second time. Never again. Apparently the staff aren’t the only people that Olive Garden doesn’t care about.

    • John Frum

      Olive Garden is not a restaurant. It’s a vending machine with seats. There is nothing they do in their kitchen that couldn’t be done by you putting a coin in a slot and pushing a button.

      • Angela Ruzzo

        Was it always like that, or did it change over time? Because 25 years ago it was a pleasant place to eat. I haven’t been there in 15 years, since the 2nd food poisoning incident.

        • John Frum

          I don’t know, I’ve always thought the food was crappy. You can tell it’s dollar store quality frozen everything floating in blobs of gluey powdered sauce mix. But I thought that 15 years ago.

          • Angela Ruzzo

            25 years ago the quality seemed to vary significantly by location, which I found odd. I went to one in St. Louis occasionally many years ago, and the food and service were both good (not great, but good). Went to another on the opposite side of town and the food was inedible and the service terrible. Five years later, the good one closed, and the bad one remained open, which is also odd. I find that most national chain restaurants do not serve great food, so I don’t have high expectations when I go in one. St. Louis is full of good, locally-owned Italian restaurants run by Italian families, so I don’t know how Olive Garden survives there. It must be related to location – Olive Garden has franchises in the upscale white suburban neighborhoods, while you have to drive into the City to find the locally-owned restaurants in the Italian neighborhood, and white suburban people in St. Louis are afraid to drive into the City because they are racist idiots.

          • John Frum

            My experience is that the issue of quality varying from place to place in a chain restaurant is common. At some point, there’s a human element: Even if they all get their food from the same vendor, someone has to cook and serve it. Believe me, if they could find a way to do that with drones controlled by slaves in Pakistan, we’d be out of jobs.

            I’ve worked in placed where the cooks were great in one unit and either demoralized by bad management or just a bunch of dumbasses in another, and you could really tell the difference.

            Same goes for service. That has a lot to do with management, but also the quality of the clientele. A demoralized staff tired of being abused and ripped off, and with no recourse to fair treatment is going to stop giving a shit. Here’s your food, here’s your check, fuck off. Next.

            Chains that cater to (“low-information diners”?) tend to be the worst employers because they know they are not going to attract experienced employees, and also have high turnover. So they just roll with it and run the place like a prison camp. They don’t stay busy because the food is good, but because there’s a lot of it, it’s familiar and non-challenging, low risk, and cheap.

          • Angela Ruzzo

            Interesting, thanks for the background. I was never a frequent restaurant customer, preferring to cook at home.

      • NationalGalleryofClipArt

        Bring back automats!

        • Skeptical_thinker

          Horn and Hardart or bust!!!1!11!

  • Calli Arcale

    I’m gonna guess that the reason 26% were given no other way of accessing their pay is because that 26% doesn’t have a bank account and therefore can’t make use of direct deposit. Which is of course incredibly lame, but it means Darden *technically* would be giving people another option. They’re just limiting it to the option that is a) cheapest for them and b) less likely to actually be feasible for all their employees, thus pushing more of them into the stupid payroll cards.

    This really should be illegal. You should have to pay your employees in money acceptable everywhere, not what amount to corporate credit cards. But, as always, the private market is waaaaay ahead of the government in terms of innovation.

    • Rick Hill

      I wouldn’t doubt that some deal was made with the card company to have a portion of those charges returned to Darden or some other discount on processing CC payments. Synergy or some other ratfuck technique…

      • Villago Delenda Est

        Kickbacks.

    • Bitter Scribe

      The way to get a bank account is to have money to put into it. The way to get money is to work and be paid money for your labor.

      • Calli Arcale

        Yep. It’s a neat little circular trap, isn’t it?

        • Blank Ron

          Quite some catch, that Catch-22.

      • Moonshadow Kati

        Actually, plenty of banks offer free accounts with no minimum deposit. I know M&T Bank does, and a quick Google shows that First National and Citibank do as well. Several of them wave all fees as long as you set up direct deposit, which would also be the point of getting the account in the first place for the workers in this discussion.

  • Rick Hill

    -fees at point of purchase
    -fees associated with the card
    Every time a corporation screws you anymore they also ensure they make a little profit of of it as well. They’ve been padding their bottom line with these small charges for a while now and are just getting bolder as they go.

  • Bitter Scribe

    Hey, they’re lucky they don’t get paid in breadsticks.

  • Villago Delenda Est

    Until the executives of these companies are punished for these criminal activities, none of this will change. And by punished I mean fined to near death and time in the pokey.

  • John Frum

    It’s worse for BOH employees, because their whole pay is wrapped up the card. But we’re lucky: the payroll cards we get are actually fairly decent. There are no fees unless you load your own money onto it yourself, you get a routing number so it works like a checking account, and they’ll send you paper checks if you need them. So I guess it depends on the company you work for. For practical purposes, a decent card deal is no worse and in some ways better than a checking account from some scumbag bank like BoA. Having used both, I actually prefer the payroll card.

    The big problem is that payroll cards mean employees have zero access to their payroll information. On a chack it’s all there, wages, tips, deductions. With a card, you practically have to make an FOIA demand to get it. You have no idea how they are calculating your paycheck and that makes it really easy for a company to steal from its employees. They can do things like move your overtime hours to the next pay period and then cut your hours next week so they don’t have to include it at time and a half. They can make you declare money they deduct from your paycheck for “tipshare”. They do that because if your tips amount to less than minimum wage for hours worked, they actually have to pay you out of their own pockets! Ew.

    So the main problem with payroll cards is:

    2. American employers like to steal from their employees. Plus:
    2. Payroll cards make it real easy to hide stealing from your employees.

    Equals 4, which on your keyboard is also “$”. Coincidence? I think not.

  • h4rr4r

    My father in law had one of these as a truck driver. He had to go to his bank, withdraw the daily limit and deposit it with the teller. This was before those ATMs that took cash existed. Someone had to do this for several days in a row to get all the money. Each time paying some insane fee. This was still much cheaper than using the card directly to pay for things.

  • chascates
  • Playonwords

    How come Americans are stiffed with ATM fees? Over in Europe, and with the exception of rare 3rd party ATMs, there are no fees for debit card users either at banks, post offices or retailers.

    There used to be such fees but banks got into competition and started offering no fee withdrawals back in the 80s then no fee withdrawals on competitors cards and this became the norm. About 10 years ago a couple of banks tried reintroducing them but lost so much custom they had to drop the idea.

    • Blank Ron

      We have the same problem Up Here – use your debit card at anything other than your own bank’s ATM and you get hammered, often more than $2.00. OTOH, almost everybody takes debit (even tiny mom&pop stores) and most banks are pretty good about the number of transactions you get in a month, so the need to acquire and use cash isn’t that great.
      Which is not to say that it wouldn’t be a decent move to get the banks to stop gouging us when we actually DO need cash.

      • Teecha

        There’s a limit on the number of transactions you can make? This is brand new information!

        In the uk, most cash machines are free, and the ones that aren’t have big notices to say they how much they’ll charge. I’ve never used one with a charge.

        In Qatar, no charges at any cashpoint.

        • Blank Ron

          A limit on the number of FREE ones. I knew I left out something. My bad.

          • Teecha

            I just want to check- you do know that that is not better, right? Why the fuck are the bank charging you for any transactions? It’s not like they’re employing someone to pick up your coins and notes from your bank account box and put them in another…it’s all numbers on a screen. Just when I think you crazy Americans can’t surprise me, you come up with something new. Do you have contactless payment yet? Do you actually have chip n pin?

            At Christmas, my bank gave me a cheque for £900 because they made a mistake on the interest I’d agreed to pay on a loan. I didn’t really understand this, on the grounds that I’d agreed to pay that rate of interest for that length of time.

          • cat cafe

            It isn’t actually “us crazy Americans” who are doing this, it is “those borderline-criminal banks, aided and abetted by Republican politicians.” We despise it.

          • Blank Ron

            Well, Canadian, but yes. bank fees have been a Thing for a very long time, and there’s zero incentive for them to change that.
            We do, however have tap terminals and EVERY card is chipped, something the US is lagging behind on.

          • Serai 1

            They charge because they can. It’s not about having actual reasons. Since nobody is going to call them on it, they do whatever they like.

      • Serai 1

        I haven’t used an actual ATM in ten years, I think. I just pop into the nearest supermarket or convenience store, buy a pack of gum or a small bottle of water, and take my cash back.

    • IknowRIGHT

      Because greed! And the banks own our government.

    • Jennifer R

      Because since deregulation banks are set up to nickle and dime (and 35 dollar fine) customers to the maximum.

      • MizzMazz

        And the banks aren’t upfront about the charges – it’s in the small print. I got into big trouble several years ago by not getting my card declined. the bank called it a ‘loan’ and charged me that fucking $35. I would rather have my card declined, and get over that embarrassment than find myself a thou in the hole. Thank you, Chase.

        • Serai 1

          Yeah, refusing that overdraft protection is KEY to keeping them from stealing out of your bank account.

          • Still doesn’t work….if a charge takes time to go through the system (like self-serve gas pumps), and by the time it actually hits, you don’t have enough to cover it, you still get dinged that $35…because by that point it’s too late to decline.

    • handyhippie65

      free market capitalism at it’s best. which isn’t very good at all.

    • Left Coast Tom

      My bank offers rebates on ATM fees charged by another bank. Of course, this involves a minimum deposit requirement…

      Meaning, banks are stiffing the customers they don’t actually want.

      This is why I agree with proposals for Postal Banking Accounts, offering basic services. If the services were structured right it wouldn’t compete with banks because they’d be targeting people the banks don’t want anyway.

      • H0mer0

        just cuz the banks don’t want them doesn’t mean they don’t want to relieve them of some of their money.

      • Serai 1

        It would also save the Post Office, a service wingnuts would LOVE to abolish.

      • SufferinSuccotash, Untied

        There was something called the Postal Savings Bank, established back in 1910 partly to protect low-income people (often newly-arrived immigrants) from being shafted wholesale by their friendly local private banks (no deposit insurance in those days). But the bank was abolished in the mid-60s because, it was argued, effective government regulation had made private banking so much more honest and reliable than it was in the Bad Old Days.
        Ha.
        Ha ha.
        Ha ha ha.
        Hahahahahahaha!

    • Serai 1

      Because America is a country that only cares about rich people and corporations. Anyone else can go fuck themselves.

    • Justno

      It has to do with ownership and level of government control. Here we have mostly non governmentally owned banks with minimal regulation (comparatively). This means that generally banks her charge for stuff like this because they can. No other reason.

      • I AM R U

        Do you know how much it costs people to access their money from other banks in the US? Like, on average?

        • Dr. Jo

          Using an ATM from another’s bank runs from $2-$5/transaction in the Baltimore area.

          • I AM R U

            Holy crap, US$5??

        • Justno

          Maybe $1.50 – $2.00 to use an ATM that is not owned by your own bank. Point of sale transactions are almost always free of charge and is what most people do in lieu of cash.

          • I AM R U

            Well, that’s s little bit more than it is here. But I’ve absolutely never ever heard of workers being paid in this manner. Either you get paid in cash (dodgy, usually to avoid tax) or it gets directly put into your account. A few people might still be getting cheques.

  • Dr. Jo

    My employer offers direct deposit, but charges a $1,50 fee each biweekly pay period. Every other place I’ve worked has required you to use direct deposit, becasue it saves them time and hassle in disbursing paper checks. I’m guaranteed $10 per hour ($400 per pay period in my case, but only after the regular pay of $20 per client/hr AND any credit card tips are included). So if business is slow, or if the booking staff, marketing person and whoever else aren’t doing their jobs effectively, the paying clients are directly subsidizing the company’s wage structure. Allowing employers to do this should be illegal. Give tips directly to your service person in cash–always!

    • Blank Ron

      I saw something curious where I get my hair cut.
      I use debit (it’s a Canadian thing) and add on a decent tip because they do a good job keeping the mohawk under control. When I do, they check the tip amount and remove and pocket the cash from the till. Not a bad system.

      • Maggie Cooper

        That is exactly why I may pay the bill with a credit card with a nominal 10% tip but always leave rest of the tip in cash on the table or in the servers hand.

    • h4rr4r

      I would be demanding a $1.50 each pay period raise.

    • melina1222

      Ditto the cash tip policy. I worked as a bartender decades ago during my college days. I’m still overtipping.

      • Anna Elizabeth

        I’ve never worked food service, but my fam did, and after hearing about their days, I always overtip too.

    • Teecha

      What? Did I read this right? Your employer charges you to pay you for your labour?

    • YourNameHere

      No. I do not carry cash.

    • Boojum

      Explain this “only after the regular pay of $20 per client-hour” thing.

  • IknowRIGHT

    The company I work for has these payroll cards, but they also have the option for direct deposit into bank(s) of your choosing (my check goes into 2 accounts at 2 separate banks). Most of our labor force (we are cleaning company, we clean offices) are made up of people w/ no bank accounts. Most of them because they do not want to have wages garnished, and the vast majority of them had paper checks that they were paying to cash. Yes we went to the debit cards mostly for cost saving measures, but at least we made sure there were ATMs around the metro area they could use free of fees. They were told they MUST USE an ALLPOINT ATM and I personally took a picture of what one looked like. The HR directer and myself drove around and located 15 ATM locations and I typed up their address and what stores they were located in. 8 of them were in 24 hour facility. The other 7 did close at various times of the evening. We have some not so bright folks that screw this up weekly, but that is their own fault for not listening or reading directions.

    • zerosumgame0005

      sounds like you guys went the extra mile to make them work, good job!

      • sherman

        But it looks like the company works them to death. Not sure I would want IknowRight walking around my office. :-)

        • zerosumgame0005

          HA!

  • Samicastars

    The company i work for does not accept cards without a name on it. Ive had plenty of people get angry when i have to turn down their payroll card without a name. The whole thing is stupid, give the people a choice if they want the stupid cards!!

  • Erik Lonnrot

    It’s only a matter of time before they start paying them in company scrip that can only be used at other Darden properties.

    • Bear OmNomNom

      Work a 16-top and whaddaya get…

      • NationalGalleryofClipArt

        What’s the age/race of the clientele?

      • Tobias B. Santa

        8 prayer cards that can’t pay your debt

    • Daniel Kim

      Saint Peter, don’t you call me . . .

    • Justno

      That’s what Darden offers as an employee benefit/bonus. Not kidding. A much touted benefit used to be the offer to buy $25 Darden gift cards for $20.

      • Erik Lonnrot

        Is that a reverse Poe’s Law or something? I meant it as hyperbole but it turns out to be true.

        • Justno

          My sister-in-law used to work there.

  • I don’t get this. Wouldn’t direct deposit be even cheaper for companies than issuing cards? I don’t know if this is a stupid big employer greed problem, or a stupid big greedy banks problem.

    • Caepan

      Companies save money by using direct deposit, but they make money by using payroll debit cards.

      It’s in that book, “Fucking Over Your Employees for Fun and Profit.” Now in its 40th year of publication!

    • Berkeleybear94

      Direct deposit still requires them to send the money/engage in all the transactions associated with it and/or pay a processor like ADP to do it. In these systems they still outsource the processing to a third party, but the third party doesn’t charge the company as much because of the money they’ll make off the fees. FYI, colleges are doing similar bullshit where they link their IDs to a bank card, then offer students faster processing of financial aid as long as they agree to have the payments sent to this bank (that has no physical branches and a lot fewer fee free ATMs than any normal bank).

    • Tansy Geek

      I think a lot of people working low wage jobs also can’t afford the fees or meet the requirements to open a bank account. Banks don’t want low balance accounts due to cost of maintaining them. Hence payday lenders have a reason to continue to fuck people over too.

  • chiefkurtz

    I took a job in a restaurant that promised a ‘free shift meal’, that you could have on your break, or afterward. They had a great menu, with a lot of great choices. When I prepared to have my first shift meal, the manager took me to the break room and gave me my choice of Dinty Moore canned beef stew or Hormel Chili. They didn’t lie, exactly. I left without giving notice.

    • SessileRaptor

      Holy crap, even the old practice of the cook making up a family sized meal for the staff out of stuff he needed to get rid of is better than that.

  • handyhippie65

    that is precisely why i get paid in cash. being self employed helps.

  • Jan_in_the_pan

    Back when I was on the customer service phone queue, I would often get phone calls in Spanish, asking to activate their payment cards. I guess whatever asshole they were working for gave them our customer service phone # in order to access their paycheck. I would have to explain to them that we were a company that sold safety boots, and that I could not help them.

  • BetsyBleedingheart

    A long time ago, for about 3 weeks, I worked for a company that would not do direct deposit. It was paper checks or nothing. At least they had the decency to pay us on Fridays, the one day a week when my bank was open outside of their business hours.

    They were terrible people who did a lot of illegal shit, not the least of which was firing me for being female and then lying to the unemployment commission about it.

    *shrug* Whatever.

    • 3FingerPete

      My state lacks a Par Value Law, meaning banks can charge a fee for cashing checks written on their customer’s accounts if those checks aren’t presented through the automated clearinghouse. So if you pay the kid who mows your lawn by check, and the kid presents the check to your bank in person, the bank can charge the kid…say…$7.00 for the privilege of cashing that check. But hey, as long as it is fucking over only those who don’t have their own bank accounts (the poor) my state legislature could not give less of a rat’s ass.

    • YourNameHere

      Did you fight them/sue them?

  • Mehmeisterjr

    Attention Wonketteers:

    From now on, I will no longer be issuing dick jokes. I will instead be utilizing dickjoke cards which you can use to access dick jokes at ADMs countrywide. True, you will be charged a 1 dickjoke service fee for each transaction but think of the convenience!

    • Jerry Noneofyourbizz

      “ADMs”? Automatic Dick Machines? Where I come from we call those “glory holes”!

      • MrCanoehead

        Unless you’re a teabagger; then it’s an Old Glory Hole. (I’m looking at you, Betsy Ross)

  • Jgb979

    So a new plastic card every week for the 80 bucks one makes while working $2.13 per hour + $50 bucks in tips (on a good week) one makes while working at a fast casual chain???

    How are they going to deduct my 401k and health benefits????? (One says while laughing maniacally after getting fired for even bringing the subject up)

    • SeeTrain65

      (snicker) 401K … (chortle) health benefits …

      • Progressive Republican

        BAAAAAAHAHAHAHAHAAAAAAHAHAHAHAHAAA!!!!

  • phoenix00

    > Some (assholes) have argued that this is actually good for workers, because it means they can access their money immediately
    http://sarahisalwayswrite.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/09/wrong_guide.jpg

  • Serai 1

    The trick is to withdraw ALL the money in one go. Even though you’re still paying something, you’re also screwing your employer out of all those fees they think they’ll be getting.

    • MrCanoehead

      I don’t think the employers get a cut of the fees . It’s just cheaper than doing the paperwork.

      • Tobias B. Santa

        I think some of them do.

      • Serai 1

        Well, then they’re screwing the banks, who are getting fat off the poorest people in the country.

    • Boojum

      Unless the company pays the fees, it is still a violation of the FLSA, because the employee gets below minimum wage.

  • DifficultyBreathing

    This stuff went down PA and the McDonald’s franchisee had egg mcmuffin on their face. http://citizensvoice.com/news/judge-certifies-class-action-suit-in-mcdonald-s-debit-card-case-1.1882251

  • Serai 1
  • SeeTrain65

    “‘My uncle Vinnie came over from Italy so we took him to the Olive Garden!’ Yeah, I’m sure Uncle Vinnie was very impressed by the Bologna Alfredo.”

    – Nick DePaolo

    • NationalGalleryofClipArt

      Nick di Paolo is an Italian Redneck. Possibly my least favorite comedian; only Patton Oswalt is in competition for that dubious honor.

      • SeeTrain65

        Yeah, but it is a good line. He’s bound to get one out there.

        Not sure where the PO hate comes from, tho.

  • reelreeler

    “…St. Peter don’t call me ’cause I can’t go, I owe my soul to the company store”

    • Boojum

      Exactly. Scrip. We have officially gone back in time to before the New Deal.

  • Britin Anne McCarthy

    The company I worked for made us all go paperless and do direct deposit even if we didn’t want it. It was a last minute surprise so those who couldn’t supply information or were very young and didn’t have an account were issued these same cards. No one told us we were getting them either so it was really odd.

  • JohnBull

    “Why can’t these whiny servers just take that $40,000 that’s sitting in a bank and get a degree and a real job?” says every douchebag out there who hasn’t been in school since 1972.

    • marytg

      hope you lose your job and the only job out there is in one of these dumps

      • Tobias B. Santa

        I’m concerned about your reading comprehension and ability to realize that the OP was being sarcastic and making fun of the very people who say these thing.

      • Odd Jørgensen

        you seem nice…

    • marytg

      Its nice your Mommy and Daddy or tax payers were there to pay for your college education

      • Bertrande

        Maybe lay off the drugs, Mary

    • MattHazen

      maybe cause some of us are 17 and can’t become a CEO this young…

  • goonemeritus

    When did they stop paying in bread sticks?

  • marytg

    so are the big wigs being paid in cards

  • Redhead

    In the old days in one of my first jobs, prior to direct deposit, we were paid by check. Which should have been OK except for the fact that if payday fell on a weekend, we weren’t paid until the following Monday. Oh and we couldn’t actually use the money once it was deposited until the check cleared from the company’s out-of-state bank. Which usually took a week. A job or 2 later I had direct deposit. All good right? Wrong? If payday was on the weekend the company held off depositing checks until after 2pm the following Monday. which meant my money wasn’t available until Tuesday And the company got 2-3 days of interest on the entire payroll amount. Of course this was also the company that didn’t give you the holiday if the holiday fell on the weekend.

  • HorseChestnut

    At least they’re still only paying $2 an hour, so it’s not like the paychecks were worth anything anyway.

  • Anonymous

    Ummmmm u don’t have to use the card. U can do direct deposit or have a paper check mailed to u. I know because I work there. And by the way, I love it. Darden is a great company to work for. Sounds like u may be a disgruntled ex employee lol

    • Frank Underboob

      Sounds like you may be a manager there, not a server.

  • MattHazen

    The payroll cards are optional. You can choose direct deposit. And everyone is given a list of fees that is attached to the paper with the card on it… your argument is invalid

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