It’s already frustrating enough to get your paycheck and see the huge sum taken out for taxes, benefits, etc. If you’re dealing with wage garnishment, you’re losing even more every time.

But a new trend might be even more frustrating: You might have to pay to receive your check in the first place!

These days, a growing number of employers are giving their workers a prepaid card instead of a traditional check. Employees use these cards like ATM cards to withdraw their pay from the bank.

The cards are particularly popular with retail businesses and restaurants, though their usage is growing in other industries as well.

The catch? The cards come with fees. And those fees can skyrocket pretty quickly. The New York Times gives some examples:

One provider…charges $1.75 to make a withdrawal from most A.T.M.’s, $2.95 for a paper statement and $6 to replace a card. Some users even have to pay $7 inactivity fees for not using their cards.

The fees can sometimes reach $40 in one month.

Prepaid card advocates say they can be beneficial for low-wage workers who don’t have bank accounts. But aren’t the people with the lowest wages exactly the group that can’t afford a $7 “inactivity fee”?

For minimum wage workers – for any workers, really – this is unacceptable. Do the banks really need more of your money? Is the employer’s convenience the only thing that matters anymore? Does your hard work count for nothing?

In my opinion, a system that requires workers to pay a fee for the check they’ve already earned is disrespectful at best. The hours your employees work for you are the hours that make up their lives. Employers, and dare I say banks, should never take advantage of those hours.

As an employer, I will never require my employees to pay a fee so they can receive their paycheck. It’s my responsibility to pay the cost of payroll every week. And I’m happy to do so, because my staff does a wonderful job day in and day out.

When people are already struggling to make ends meet, let’s not discourage them even further. Let’s give workers what they’ve earned. That’s the least we can do.

If you’re struggling to make ends meet, I can help. My bankruptcy law firm in Memphis would be happy to discuss your situation with you for free, no strings attached.

Contact me today to get started.