Frequency of Payments
You must pay your employees weekly or every two (2) weeks.
If your employees work five (5) or six (6) days in a week, you must pay them within six (6) days of the end of the pay period. If your employees work seven (7) days in a week, you must pay them within seven (7) days of the end of the pay period. If your employees work fewer than five (5) days in a week, then you must pay them within seven (7) days of the end of the pay period.
You may pay employees hired in an executive, administrative, or professional capacity (as defined by the attorney general) weekly, biweekly, or semimonthly. However, the employee can choose to be paid monthly.
Manner of Payments
You may pay your employees by cash your check.
Massachusetts law does not specifically mention whether you can pay your employees via direct deposit.
Payment Upon Separation
If you discharge an employee for any reason, you must pay the employee on the day of the discharge.
If the employee quits or resigns voluntarily, you must pay the employee by the next regularly scheduled payday. If you do not have a regularly scheduled payday, then you must pay the employee on the next Saturday.
Based on precedent set by the ruling in Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court Case Camara v. Attorney General (2011), you cannot make the following deductions from an employee’s paycheck:
- cash shortages;
- inventory shortages;
- dishonored checks or credit cards;
- damages to the employer’s property; or
- damage to any merchandise purchased by a customer.
Uniforms & Other Required Equipment or Tools
Massachusetts does not have any laws about whether you can require an employee to purchase a uniform or equipment necessary for them to do their job.
However, you cannot require an employee to put down a deposit for a required uniform, unless approved by the Massachusetts DOL.
Pre-Hire Medical, Physical, & Drug Tests
You must reimburse the employee or applicant for the medical expenses if you request or require the employee or applicant to receive a medical examination by a physician of your choosing.
Notice of Wage Reduction
There are no laws dictating whether you have to notify an employee about the wage reduction.
On each payday, you must provide each employee with a paystub. The paystub must include all deductions taken from the employee’s wages, including:
- social security,
- unemployment compensation benefits,
- vacation or health and welfare funds,
- state taxes,
- federal taxes,
- dues check-off, and
- contributions to credit unions.
For each employee, you must keep the following records for at least two (2) years:
- name, address, and occupation;
- amount paid each pay period; and
- hours worked each day and each week.
On an employee’s first payday, you must notify them, in writing, of the nature of any deduction or contribution.