question about deductions from pay when classified as a 1099 subcontractor

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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question about deductions from pay when classified as a 1099 subcontractor

I was told that if I work up to 4.5 hours in a day that .5 hours will be deducted from my pay for ‘lunch break’ also I believe 1 hour is being deducted if I work more than 4.5 hours.
What are the limits of legal deductions an employer can make if any? when an employee is classified as a 1099 subcontractor in Massachusetts?

Asked on November 24, 2017 under Employment Labor Law, Massachusetts


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

There are no deductions for a someone who truly a 1099 subcontractor (an "independent contractor"), rather than a misclassified employee, except those agreed to by the contarctor and employee. An contractor, as the term implies, is paid in accordance with the contract or agreement between him/her and the employer: what the two mutually agree to is acceptable, and there can be no deductions, etc. other than those which were agreed to. In the absence of a written contract for a set duration (e.g. a six-month contract), either party may propose changes to the terms and realationship at either time, which become part of the agreement if the other side acts in accordance with them, signalling agreement. For example, the employer could say that you lose 0.5 hours for a lunch break when working 4.5 hours, and if you work for them after being told that, you lose that 0.5 hours. Conversely, you could tell the employer you will not accept that and will only work if are paid for all time, no deductions; if they employ you after you have informed them that, they agreed to it. And either party can show its disagreement with the proposed terms and not be bound by them by the simple expedient of them not working with the other.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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