Section 46L: Fees; restrictions on charge or acceptance
Section 46L. (A) An employment agency shall not charge to or accept from an applicant a fee or other consideration unless in accordance with the terms of a written contract with a job applicant and unless such agency has been responsible for referring such job applicant to an employer or such employer to a job applicant and where as a result thereof such job applicant has been employed by such employer.
(B) No fee shall be charged or accepted for the registration of applicants for employees or employment.
(C) The total fee charged to the job applicant shall not exceed the amounts enumerated in the schedules set forth in this section. An employment agency shall not require an employee to pay any fee at a rate faster than four equal installments each of which shall be payable at the end of the first four pay periods following the employment or within a period of eight weeks, whichever is shorter.
(1) For domestics or household employees, other than domestics or household employees described in paragraph (a), unskilled or untrained manual workers and laborers, and agricultural workers the following shall be the maximum total fee to be charged or accepted in percentage of the first full months salary or wages actually received:
(a) For domestics or household employees from outside of Massachusetts and within the United States in connection with whose employment the recruiting domestic agency has engaged an emigrant agent and who receive from their employer three meals per day and lodging?not more than one week's salary plus twenty-one dollars; provided, that no fee under this paragraph shall exceed sixty-five dollars, if the employee is paid two hundred dollars or less per month; nor shall it exceed eighty dollars, if the employee is paid over two hundred dollars per month.
(b) Where all parties to the employment agreement understand or agree at the time such employment is entered into that it shall be for a period shorter than one month, the gross fee shall not exceed ten, twelve, fourteen or eighteen per cent of the salary or wages actually paid.
(2) For nonprofessional trained or skilled industrial workers or mechanics the total fee charged or accepted shall not exceed one week's wages.
Where all parties to the employment contract agree and understand at the time such employment contract is entered into that it shall be for a period shorter than ten weeks, the gross fee shall not exceed ten per cent of the wages or salary actually received.
(3) For models the gross fee to the agency from all sources shall not exceed ten per cent of the amount payable to the applicant, provided, that the applicant is advised in writing of such fees; and provided, further, that model agencies engaged in fields other than radio, television, film, video tape, film commercials, or transcriptions, may charge an employer of an applicant for ancillary services provided that the applicant is notified in writing of all such additional ancillary services.
(4) For all other employment the gross fee shall not exceed in percentage of the first full month's salary or wages the following:
(a) Where such first full month's salary or wages is:
(b) Where such other employment is such that the applicant will be paid on a straight commission basis or on the basis of a drawing account plus commissions, the total fee shall be based on the percentages in the above schedule applied to an amount equivalent to one twelfth of the computed first year earnings as estimated by the employer.
(c) Where all parties to the employment contract agree and understand at the time such employment contract is entered into that it shall be for a period shorter than four months, the gross fee shall not exceed fifty per cent of the fee prescribed in the above schedule or ten per cent of the wages or salary actually received, whichever is less.
(D) The fees established under this section shall be based upon the wage or salary at which the applicant is hired.
If an applicant accepts employment, and fails to report initially for work, the total fee charged to such applicant shall not exceed twenty-five per cent of the maximum fee allowed under this section; provided, however, if the applicant remains with his same employer the fee shall not exceed fifty per cent.
In no case shall an employment agency receive any fees from employees which, when added to the employer's fees to the employment agency exceed the fees specified in this section. Each applicant shall be advised in writing by the agency of the total amount of any fee paid it by the employer for placing such applicant.
The provisions of this section shall not apply to applicants who are hired at an annual wage of over forty thousand dollars, nor shall they apply to any agency which is paid solely by employer clients.
Any contract in violation of this section shall be void.