Payroll debit cards: Unfair “paychecks” we can stop

Have you been paid with a payroll debit card? 


Many Iowans, largely low wage workers and people of color, are being paid through a payroll debit card. Meaning, Iowa workers aren’t getting paychecks each pay period. This form of payment is an injustice workers should not have to bear, particularly on top of already low wages— it’s another way to strip wealth from our communities.

  • These debit cards have many fees attached to them.
  • Individuals are being charged to access their wages, use the debit card for transactions, to access balance account information, etc.
  • Many cards don’t even have the name of the employee on it and are charged excessive amounts to replace a lost card.

Because of these fees, many Iowa workers are making less than the minimum wage.

Some places that pay their employees with these cards are McDonalds, Bath and Body Works, and the Limited. They are a few among many.

People deserve a real paycheck, not a debit card that charges fees to get the money you earned. 

That’s why we’re happy to report that the first bill out of the Senate this session is to change this denial of workers’ rights.  

Payroll debit card bill (currently SSB 1004)

We support a bill that would require an employee to opt-in voluntarily to receive a payroll debit card as their primary form of payment and regulates fees.

The bill would: regulate the amount of fees an employee can incur each paycheck, no point of sale transaction fees, requires the employer to be clear about what fees could take place, lets employees access their wages for no fee each paycheck and the employee must elect to being paid by payroll debit card.


Check out our People and Planet First 2015 legislative agenda.


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