In the case, an employer had a written policy where drivers who were determined to be at fault by the employer were given the option of either accepting disciplinary action or entering into an agreement to set off for damages against their wages. Based on this scenario, the SJC found that the practice violated Massachusetts law because the statute prohibits wage deductions associated with an employer’s unilateral determination of an employee’s fault and damages.
This ruling by the SJC will expose the employer to triple damages, attorney fees and costs under the Massachusetts Wage Act! Let this be a lesson to employers to have their employee handbooks reviewed by a seasoned employment law attorney for such potentially expensive errors.
Kevin V. Maltby, Esq.