Restrictions on transportation expenses that may be charged to temporary workers (General Laws Chapter 149, 159C)

Massachusetts state law limits the amount of transportation expenses that employment agencies and staffing agencies* may charge to temporary or part-time workers. Restrictions to transportation charges are as follows:

  • If your agency offers transportation services that temporary or part-time workers may utilize, your agency and the work site employer** are prohibited from charging more than the actual cost of each employee's transportation or 3% of the employee's daily wages, whichever is less. Also, the transportation fee shall not reduce the employee's total daily wages below the minimum wage earned for that day. Agencies must acquire express written authorization from the employee, in a language that the employee can understand, before deducting any transportation costs from wages.

  • If your agency or the work site employer requires temporary or part time workers to use its transportation services, no fee may be charged.

The Massachusetts Department of Labor Standards (DLS), which licenses employment agencies and registers staffing agencies, checks for compliance with the provisions of this law during routine inspections. All evidence of non-compliance gathered, and every complaint received, will be reported to the Attorney General's office, which is the agency responsible for enforcement of this law and other laws in wage-related areas. Violators of this law are subject to penalties of up to $25,000 in fines or a year in prison for a first offense. Subsequent offenses may result in fines of up to $50,000 or two years in prison. See M.G.L. ch. 149, sec. 27C.

If you have any questions regarding this matter, please do not hesitate to contact the Employment Agency Program at (617) 626-6970.

* Staffing Agency is defined as "an individual, company, corporation or partnership that procures or provides temporary or part-time employment to a person who then works under the supervision or direction of a work site employer."

** Work Site Employer is defined as "an individual, company, corporation or partnership with which a staffing agency contracts or otherwise agrees to furnish persons for temporary or part-time employment."