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Lipsitt v. Plaud

Articles Discussing Case:

Massachusetts SJC Holds That Wage Act Does Not Preempt Common Law and Equitable Claims for Unpaid Wages

Ogletree Deakins • August 20, 2013
The Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court (SJC) has overruled a Superior Court decision holding that a state statute requiring payment of wages preempts common law and equitable causes of action for recovery of unpaid wages. As a result of the decision in Lipsitt v. Plaud, No. SJC 11285 (Aug. 12, 2013), employees will be able to recover wages that have been unpaid for longer than the statute’s three-year limitations period—a common law breach of contract claim, for example, has a six-year limitations period under Massachusetts law. Such wages would not be subject to mandatory trebling under the statute, however, and the employee would not automatically recover his or her attorneys’ fees (as the statute also requires).