STATE HOUSE – Rep. Robert E. Craven (D-Dist. 32, North
Kingstown) and Sen. Frank S. Lombardi’s (D-Dist. 26, Cranston) legislation (2017-H
5932Aaa / 2017-S 0350B)
that prohibits employers from making deductions from an employee’s wages
without written authorization from the worker has been signed into law by the
“It is completely unfair for a hard working restaurant
employee to lose their wages if a person skips out on a check or they break a
plate. There should be no unilateral wage deduction from an employee
without any kind of notice or consent. This bill will protect workers who
need every single cent that goes into their pockets from a day’s work,” said
Representative Craven, Chairman of the House Committee on Labor.
“Employers cannot take away an employees hard-earned wages
unilaterally without any notice. That is a fundamentally unfair labor
practice that needs to end. People work too hard to be subjected to such
treatment and this bill will ensure that employees’ wages are protected from
unscrupulous employers,” said Senator Lombardi.
The legislation states that employers cannot deduct wages
from a worker for reasons such as spoilage or breakage of equipment or product,
any amount of shortages or losses, and fines or penalties for tardiness,
misconduct, or quitting without notice. Employers would only be able to
deduct wages if the employee gives written authorization to deduct their
wages. Authorization would include if the employee agreed to a collective
bargaining agreement between a representative of the employee and the employer
that authorized certain deductions.