Massachusetts Deductions from Pay: What you need to know

Payroll deductions for items other than taxes and garnishments generally require the employee's prior written authorization. An employer may not separately charge or bill an employee for fees or amounts not allowed as deductions.
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Deductions for labor, trade union, or craft dues and obligations are permitted. Unless a collective bargaining agreement provides otherwise, employers are required to send any deductions for union or craft dues to the union within 14 days of the date of deduction. Failure to send the dues collected from employees within 14 days or the time specified in a collective bargaining agreement may result in a fine of $100.
Employers that supply meals and lodging may make deductions for both, subject to specific restrictions. No deduction for meals may exceed the actual cost to the employer. A deduction for one meal may be made from the basic minimum wage of an employee working 3 hours or more. A deduction for two meals may be made from the basic minimum wage of an employee whose work entirely covers two meal periods or 8 hours of work. A deduction for three meals may be made from the basic minimum wage of an employee if lodging is provided or if special permission is granted by the director of the Massachusetts Department of Labor and Industries. Lodging can only be deducted if it is safe, clean, and has heat, light, and available water. (MA Admin. Code Tit. 455 Sec. 2.04(2)). Deductions for meals and/or lodging can only be made if the employee voluntarily accepts the meals and/or lodging, if the employer provides notice to the employee stating the meals and/or lodging are voluntary, and the employee provides written record ...

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