ALBANY, N.Y. (Legal Newsline) - Two New York lawmakers will sponsor a bill designed to increase protection for workers using payroll cards, state Attorney General Eric Schneiderman said on Tuesday.

Assembly Majority Leader Joseph Morelle and Sen. Patrick Gallivan will back Schneiderman's bill, which aims to clarify ambiguities in the law and ensure workers can access their pay in a convenient method.

The Payroll Card Act would require all card fees to be clearly disclosed to holders and would also restrict some fees.

Schneiderman said several labor and community organizations have supported the bill including Rochester & Genesee Valley Area Labor Federation, Metro Justice, Rochester Building & Construction Trades, Worker Justice Center of New York, Empire Justice and the Rochester Legal Aid Society.

Schneiderman says payroll cards are beneficial for workers who don't have bank accounts, but many have their wages “chipped away by fees.”

“Workers shouldn’t have to pay to get their pay,” Schneiderman said. “The Payroll Card Act will ensure that workers have free and clear access to their wages, and provide clarity to employers about how to offer payroll cards in compliance with the law.”

Morelle said public officials have an “obligation” to protect employee interests, and he believed the law would deliver those protections by removing “unreasonable fees.”

Gallivan said the bill prevents “overly burdensome regulations” on employers, but also protects New Yorkers' earned wages.

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