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Massachusetts Employment Labor Law

Massachusetts labor law lawsuits allege violations of Massachusetts state labor laws such as overtime pay, discrimination and harassment. The rights of employees in Massachusetts are protected by the a number of laws, including the Massachusetts Minimum Fair Wage Law, the Massachusetts Blue Laws and the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). Possible violations of Massachusetts employment labor law include wrongful termination, retaliation and discrimination.


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Massachusetts Employment Law

Massachusetts Minimum Fair Wage Law

Massachusetts Minimum Fair Wage Law sets standards for minimum wages, overtime work and minimum daily hours. As of January 1, 2016, the minimum wage in Massachusetts is $10.00 per hour, except for tipped employees. Tipped employees who receive more than $20 a month in tips can be paid $3.35 per hour so long as when all tips and wages are combined they receive at least minimum wage. The minimum wage applies to all employees who are not considered exempt from minimum wage. Employees who work more than 40 hours in one week must be paid at least 1.5 times their regular rate of pay, provided they are not in an occupation exempt from overtime pay.

WorkersMassachusetts Blue Laws

Massachusetts Blue Laws sets out guidelines for establishments that want to operate on Sundays or holidays. These include the pay that is owed to employees who work Sundays and holidays and guidelines for both retail and non-retail establishments. The Blue Laws also set out when establishments must apply for permits to operate on certain holidays. Under the Massachusetts Blue Laws, retailers cannot require employees to work on Sunday and cannot use a refusal to work on Sunday as a reason for discrimination, dismissal or any other penalty against the employee.

The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA)

The Fair Labor Standards Act is a federal law regarding employee wages and hours worked, including overtime hours and wages. Under the FLSA, some workers can be exempted from overtime pay. However, those workers must fit the criteria the FLSA sets out for exemption. Massachusetts' laws also apply to employment subject to the FLSA. In cases where both the FLSA and state law apply, the law setting the higher standards must be observed.

More information on how the Fair Labor Standards Act applies to overtime can be found here.

Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA)

The Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) is a federal act requiring that covered employers provide up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave to eligible employees. FMLA applies only in the following instances: for the birth and care of the employee's newborn child; to care for a child after adoption or foster care placement; to care for the employee's spouse, child or parent who is suffering from a serious health condition; or for a serious health condition that affects the employee's own ability to work.

Massachusetts employees are eligible for FMLA coverage if they have worked for a covered employer for at least one year, for 1,250 hours over the previous 12 months (not necessarily consecutive months) and if a minimum of 50 employees are employed by the same employer within 75 miles.

Covered employers are those who employ more than 50 employees within 75 miles of the worksite and have at least 50 employees who work 20 or more work-weeks in the current calendar year or the previous calendar year. Public agencies are covered by the FMLA regardless of the number of employees.

Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSHA)

The Occupational Safety and Health Act is a federal law enacted to ensure that employees work in an environment that is free from recognized hazards. It is part of the United States Code, Title 29, Chapter 15.

Employees who feel their rights have been violated may have the opportunity to bring their complaint before the courts.

Massachusetts Employment Legal Help

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Misclassified Plaintiffs in Massachusetts Eyeing $2.9 Million Proposed Settlement
Misclassified Plaintiffs in Massachusetts Eyeing $2.9 Million Proposed Settlement
April 21, 2017
Boston, MA: Plaintiffs in a recent Massachusetts employment law collective action have asked a federal judge in Massachusetts to approve a settlement worth $2.9 million that would settle claims of improper classification allegedly costing employees overtime pay. READ MORE

Au pairs and Massachusetts Labor Law: Cultural Exchange or Exploitation?
Au pairs and Massachusetts Labor Law: Cultural Exchange or Exploitation?
May 7, 2015
A Massachusetts Employment lawsuit appears like a slam dunk when figures such as $4.35 per hour for a 45-hour week, or $195.75 as a weekly stipend are bandied about. However, there’s more to this story than meets the eye. Plaintiffs cite affronts to Massachusetts Labor law and various statutes observed by other jurisdictions where the putative class-action lawsuit lives. Defendants, on the other hand, claim they are playing by the rules and that their hands are tied. READ MORE

Is Double Dipping a Violation of Massachusetts Labor Law?
Is Double Dipping a Violation of Massachusetts Labor Law?
July 8, 2010
Does a building commissioner who also serves as a call firefighter deserve municipal pay under Massachusetts labor law when a call comes in during work hours? Or should the Massachusetts employee forfeit his municipal pay when performing emergency duties? Is he even allowed to work these two jobs at all? READ MORE


Posted by

Hi, I work at Atrius Health. Going on vacation in May. My question is: If I quit now, do I get paid all the PTO that I have earned? All of it?

Thank you so much

Posted by

I work for a municipality under a union contract. As a certain grade in the town, I have certain responsibilities to which I am trained to do in the job description. However, I lateraled into a position with the same grade and description but do way beyond the description. Over six years now it has been acknowledged by few, to which I have challenged to be raised to a hire grade because my duties are way beyond the grade. And I can say that because I lateraled. Now my boss is dumbing down a job that I have been doing for six years with close to impeccable performance. I feel something is wrong here. Can management take tasks away from me after six years of doing them so that they do not need to give me the raise/grade I deserve. I feel like a target is on my back constantly and this is the newest stunt.

Posted by

Good Morning,

I work 38 hours a week and have my set hours. My employer is calling for a Mandatory after hours paid meeting which is hard for me to come attend due to the time of night and me being a single mom (have homework and dinner to cook) Is there a law stating I will get terminated if I do not attend?

Please advise, meeting is tonight ( :

Posted by

to the bill martin and his famely another cbs anchor otis livingston told me he had secret sexual ralation with mr. marin's famely member he also scared them to kill if they will talk to somebody. bill martin must look forhimself beacause otis livingston is dangerous man.

Posted by

I am likely being laid off due to MassHealth cuts. My employer has offered me two other positions in different departments, which I do not want. Am I still eligible for unemployment? I have one last chance to accept or deny the jobs (one I couldn't do anyway).

Thank you for your help.


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