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Mandatory Treble Damages on Massachusetts Wage and Hour Claims Are Not Mandatory for Conduct Occurring Prior to July 12, 2008

The Supreme Judicial Court, Massachusetts’ highest court, has ruled in Rosnov v. Molloy, SJC-10762 (August 31, 2011) that an amendment to the Massachusetts Wage Act, which mandates an automatic award of treble damages to employees prevailing on wage and hour claims under Massachusetts law, does not apply retroactively. Rather, according to the Supreme Judicial Court, it only applies to conduct occurring on or after the July 12, 2008 effective date of the statute. A 2008 amendment to the Massachusetts Wage Act, M.G.L. c. 149, section 150, provides for a mandatory award of treble damages to prevailing employees in wage and hour claims against their employers. Specifically, the amendment provided the following
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