Give us OUR cash tips, NOT bank pay cards!

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We are calling on the servers, bartenders and server assistants of BJ's Restaurants to REJECT the Bank of America pay cards to receive our tips. Our tips are OUR money, not a revenue stream for Bank of America nor are OUR tips a method for a kick back to BJ's corporate (I'm just assuming there is some benefit the bank has offered corporate because why else would they inconvenience their very large service staff)?

For those not familiar, BJ's Restaurant and Brewhouse recently started testing the use of Bank of America pay cards as the method to give servers, bartenders, food runners and server assistants their money. That's right, we no longer leave the restaurant with our cash in hand that our diners give us. We are being forced to use Bank of America cards where our tips get loaded on to and then we have to figure out how to get our money out of a bank we never chose to do business with. 

Serveral issues with this:

1. BJ's is forcing their staff to use Bank of America beyond their choice. We choose who we wish to Bank with or open accounts with. I carefully selected my bank and any institution I put money into or take credit from, I have never been forced to use one beyond my choice until now. Have you?

2. There are no Bank of America branches in Ohio where this is being tested. I like being able to go to my bank if there are any issues and speak with someone in person about MY money. This is not an option for me here. We can not go to Bank of America and take out our money. 

3. Sure, we can go to an ATM that doesn't charge us a fee and take our money out in $20 increments or get cash back at the grocery store in $5 increments, but now you have added an inconvenient step for me to get money into my chosen bank to pay bills, plus that leaves an odd small amount that I can't retrieve easily.

4. Why not just transfer your cash online to your bank? Well, that's because each time you were to do this, Bank of America will charge a $3 fee. Profiting off of my hard earned tips that I'm forced to put in their bank? How is this even legal? 

I understand that many businesses offer pay cards to associates who aren't able to open a checking or savings account and this is a great option for those folks, however this is not the same scenario. I wait tables because I like the cash in hand, I've earned it from my dining guests, not from BJ's. Plus, customers give their servers tips and expect that they keep them; they do not assume they go into a bank making it difficult for their servers to retrieve the money. 

This is simply a system that doesn't make any sense. Let's stop trying fix things that were never broke to begin with. Let's not allow ourselves to be inconvenienced or shorted our money so a large bank corporation can profit from our earnings. Let's ask BJs to not continue with this tip card partnership. Let's take a stand to keep what is rightfully ours. 

Give us our cash back BJ's and Bank of America. WE have earned it!