Can we push employees to donate to charity?

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in Compensation and Benefits,Human Resources

Q. Is it legal for us to strongly encourage our employees to have money withheld from their paychecks to support a charity drive, like the United Way?

A. You should shy away from “strongly” encouraging your employees to support a particular charity in a way that could be perceived as coercive.

Apart from the issue of an individual employee’s financial circumstances, employees may not be comfortable with particular charities based on religious or other beliefs.

It is permissible for you to provide information to employees and ask whether they want to participate in a charity drive. You should not withhold money from employee paychecks without their specific written authorization.

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