Most employers in Massachusetts must allow eligible employees to take meal breaks or be absent from work for certain reasons.  Click on any of the topics below to learn more.

Meal Breaks

Workers have a right to at least a 30-minute meal break for each 6 hours worked in a calendar day.

Earned Sick Time

Nearly all employees in Massachusetts have the right to earn and use up to 40 hours of sick time per year to take care of themselves and their families.


Employers who choose to provide paid vacation to their employees must treat those payments like wages.

Small Necessities Leave

Some employees have the right to take up to 24 hours of unpaid leave per year to attend to the needs of children or elder family members.

Domestic Violence and Abusive Situation Leave

Some workers have the right to take up to 15 days of unpaid leave in response to domestic violence.

Day of Rest

Most employers must allow a worker to have one day off after 6 consecutive days of work.


Some employers must allow employees an unpaid leave of absence up to two hours off to vote.

Veterans Day and Memorial Day

Some employees may be entitled to paid or unpaid leave on Veterans Day and Memorial Day.

Massachusetts Parental Leave Law

Most Massachusetts workers have a right to take up to 8 weeks of job-protected leave for the birth or adoption of a child. This law is administered by the Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination. 

Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA)

Federal law requires employers to allow eligible employees to take job-protected leave for certain family and medical reasons.