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Maryland Deductions from Pay: What you need to know

The right of an employer to make deductions from employees' pay is limited by Maryland law. Deductions are permitted only if they are:
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• Made in accordance with the provisions of law (such as Social Security).
• Ordered by a court (such as wage garnishments and child support).
• Expressly authorized in writing by the employee (such as union dues, charitable contributions, certain wage assignments). This should take the form of a separate and distinct statement, signed by the employee, concerning only the deduction and nothing more. Even with a proper authorization, however, employers must still pay at least the federal minimum wage in the case of a deduction made to offset a loss to the employer because of the admitted or court determined fault or negligence of an employee (for example, careless damage to the employer's truck). If the deduction is made to offset something the employee received or retained from the employer that had monetary value (for example, personal loan, use of long-distance telephone line, materials), the deduction may, in that case, reduce the employee's wages below the minimum wage. Finally, an authorized deduction may be invalid if it violates or is inconsistent with other federal or state laws or regulations.
• Allowed by the commissioner of Labor and Industry because the employee has received a benefit for which the deductions are a reimbursement. Examples include long-distance telephone calls on the employer's business phone, personal loans, wage advances, etc.(MD Labor and Employment Code Sec. 3-503 et seq.).
An assignment of wages is an agreement between an employee and his or her creditors in which the employee voluntarily assigns the creditor a portion ...

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