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Trump's labor pick paid employees less than minimum wage

New York workers who make minimum wage may be interested to learn that President-elect Donald Trump has chosen to nominate Andy Puzder for labor secretary. Puzner, the CEO of Hardee's and Carl's Jr., has a history of violating minimum wage laws.

According to a 2014 investigation that was conducted by the Labor Department, Hardee's employees were given their paychecks on prepaid Visa debit cards. When employees used those debit cards at certain ATMs to obtain their pay, they incurred fees. When the fees were taken into account, workers made less than $7.25 per hour, which is the federal minimum wage. Ultimately, Hardee's was required to pay more than $2,000 to an unspecified number of workers in Alabama. However, Hardee's reportedly refused to do so because it would require the company to change their payroll system.

The use of prepaid cards has become a popular way to pay employees. However, these cards have fees attached to them when they're used in certain ways. The state of New York and other agencies have attempted to crack down on employers who force employees to accept prepaid payment cards without offering other alternatives. Fees often include a monthly maintenance payments, withdraw costs and a replacement charge for lost cards. New Hardee's employees can opt to receive their pay via direct deposit.

Unfair pay practices can cause employees to be unable to pay their bills. If an employer reuses to pay overtime or violates minimum wage laws, an attorney may assist with filing a lawsuit against the employer. The attorney may help the worker seek compensation in the form of back pay, overtime pay and other benefits that the employee is entitled to. In some cases, the attorney may initiate a class action lawsuit. The lawyer might also help seek compensation for punitive damages.

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