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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.
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.
Massachusetts 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.
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