| Opinion |

McDonald's Accused of Cheating Worker By Paying With ATM Card

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Over the past several years, frightening statistics have been released revealing that minimum wage earners working 40 hours per week cannot afford to live above poverty level -- meaning they cannot afford rent on their own, their food budget is negligible, and of course, cable and WiFi are out of the question.

So how do highly successful conglomerates help struggling employees whose hard work made it possible for the income of CEOs to increase 725 percent over the past 30 years?

Well, McDonald's has a better idea. Instead of helping those who need it most, why not lend an unnecessary hand to another huge multinational? Like JPMorgan Chase.

Natale Gunshannon, a single mother in Pennsylvania, quit her job at McDonald's after her first paycheck came in the form of a prepaid debit card. When she requested payment via check or direct deposit, she was told that her only option was the prepaid card.

Her issue with the prepaid debit card? The fees.

JPMorgan Chase charges $1.50 for ATM withdrawals, $5.00 for receiving cash back at point of sale, $1 to check your balance, $0.75 to make an online bill payment, and $15 to replace a lost or stolen card.

According to Gunshannon, with all the fees involved, she actually earns less than minimum wage. Pennsylvania law requires that employees have the option of being paid in cash or by check. After being refused payment for her work via normal means, she hired an attorney after she quit.

"I can't afford to lose even a few dollars per paycheck," Gunshannon told Philly.com. "I just think people should be paid fairly and not have to pay fees to get their wages."

When an employee makes $7.25 an hour, the current federal minimum wage, she takes home about $246 per week after taxes, which amounts to approximately $986 per month. Estimating rent at $500/month with utilities included, a monthly bus pass at $140, and cellphone service at $40 per month, that leaves $306 for food, toiletries, medications, emergencies, and incidentals. At that point, can it really be called a wage at all?

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