Employees who claim that their employers misclassified them as exempt from the overtime requirements of Massachusetts law frequently attempt to recover overtime pay for hours worked outside the statute of limitations applicable to statutory overtime claims. In pursuing these claims, employees often argue that the statute of limitations should be
Articles Discussing Massachusetts Wage & Hour Laws.
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The Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court (“SJC”) issued an important decision on May 8, 2019, in the matter of Sullivan et al v. Sleepy’s LLC et al regarding overtime and Sunday pay requirements for inside salespeople who are compensated entirely by commission.
Beginning on January 1, 2019, the Massachusetts minimum wage will be raised from $11.00 to $12.00, part of a tiered effort that will raise the Commonwealth’s minimum wage to $15.00 by 2023. Similarly, the tipped minimum wage increases from $3.75 to $4.35 on January 1 and will likewise continue to increase yearly until it reaches $6.75 in 2023. Under the new law, retail employees’ Sunday time rate will decrease from time-and-a-half to one and four-tenths the employee’s regular rate. The rate will decrease yearly until it is gradually eliminated in 2023.
On January 29, 2018, the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court held that sick pay does not constitute wages under the Massachusetts Payment of Wages Law, M.G.L. c. 149, § 148. As a result, employers are not liable under the Payment of Wages Law if they choose not to pay out accrued, unused sick pay to employees upon termination of employment.
Massachusetts law requires most retail employers to pay employees time and a half for work performed on Sundays and certain holidays. In a case of first impression, a Massachusetts Superior Court judge recently held that retail employers that fail to make such payments may be sued under the state Payment of Wages Law, thereby subjecting them to mandatory awards of treble damages and attorneys’ fees.
On August 1, 2016, Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker made news across the Commonwealth and around the country when he signed into law An Act to Establish Pay Equity (the “Pay Equity Act”), which strengthens the state’s existing equal pay law and imposes certain new obligations and limitations on employers. This Client Alert provides an overview of the key provisions of the new law. Employers should take advantage of the time before the Pay Equity Act goes into effect on July 1, 2018 to understand the requirements of the law and consider compliance strategies.
Massachusetts has become the latest state to strengthen its pay equity laws. Governor Charlie Baker signed a bill amending the state’s Equal Pay Act on August 1, 2016. The new law, which becomes effective on January 1, 2018, imposes more rigorous equal pay obligations on employers and provides for automatic triple damages and attorneys’ fees, among other things.
On July 23, 2016, the Massachusetts Legislature passed the Act to Establish Pay Equity (the “Act”).1 The stated purpose of the Act is to increase wage transparency and bridge the gender gap with regard to wages. Governor Baker stated that he intends to sign the Act next week. If he does so, the Act will take effect on January 1, 2018. When it takes effect, Massachusetts will have one of the most expansive equal pay laws in the Nation. In addition, by limiting the amount of wage-related information employers may obtain from job applicants, the Act may force employers to revise their job applications to eliminate requests for applicants’ pay history.
The Massachusetts legislature has passed a bill to amend the state’s Equal Pay Act that would impose more rigorous equal pay obligations on employers by prohibiting certain conduct. Both house of the legislature (Senate and House of Representatives) passed the bill unanimously in July. The bill now waits for the Governor’s signature.
The Massachusetts Senate has passed a bill to amend the state’s Equal Pay Act that would impose more rigorous equal pay obligations on employers by prohibiting certain conduct. The House is considering the bill.
On July 1, 2015, the Massachusetts earned sick time law took effect, requiring most Massachusetts employers to provide their employees with the right to accrue and take up to 40 hours of paid sick leave per year. The law does not require employers with paid time off plans or policies equivalent to, or more generous than, the new law to provide additional paid sick time.
Massachusetts courts recently clarified two issues of great interest to employers in the hospitality and restaurant industries. On the one hand, the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court held that Massachusetts law does not prohibit employers from adopting a no-tipping policy. On the other hand, the federal district court in Massachusetts held that the “restaurant employee” exemption to the state overtime law does not apply to maintenance technicians who travel between restaurants.
Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick has signed new law mandating increases in the state’s minimum wage to $11.00 an hour by January 1, 2017.
In a recent decision, Judge Young of the U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts held that an arbitration agreement does not need to specifically reference the Massachusetts Payment of Wages Law in order for claims under that statute to be subject to arbitration. Specifically, the district court held that any such requirement would be preempted by the Federal Arbitration Act (FAA).