MGL c.149 s.148 Weekly Wage Law. Provides details of how wages must be paid. Includes the following about employees who leave their employment: "any employee leaving his employment shall be paid in full on the following regular pay day, and, in the absence of a regular pay day, on the following Saturday; and any employee discharged from such employment shall be paid in full on the day of his discharge..."
MGL c.149, s.150 Provides for mandatory triple damages for weekly wage law violations.
MGL c.149, s.152A Service Charges and Tips
St.2016, c.177 An Act to Establish Pay Equity, Effective July 1, 2018
Blake v. CRNC Operating, LLC
, 2015 Mass. App. Div. 156 (2015)
A non-payment of wages claim may be brought in Small Claims Court when the amount claimed is up to $7000, even though the amount, when trebled, would exceed the $7000 limit.
Camara v. Attorney General
, 458 Mass. 756 (2011)
Wage Set-Offs. The employer violated the Wage Act by implementing a policy in " which a worker found by ABC to be at fault in an accident involving company trucks may agree to a deduction from earned wages in lieu of discipline." " An arrangement whereby ABC serves as the sole arbiter, making a unilateral assessment of liability as well as amount of damages with no role for an independent decision maker, much less a court, and, apparently, not even an opportunity for an employee to challenge the result within the company, does not amount to 'a clear and established debt owed to the employer by the employee.'"
Crocker v. Townsend Oil Co
, 464 Mass. 1 (2012)
Release of Wage Act Claims. A general release doesn't free you from wage act claims unless they are specifically waived. "In light of the important public policy considerations underlying the Wage Act, we conclude that although claims arising thereunder may be released retrospectively as part of a settlement agreement,(3) such a release is valid only if it is voluntary and knowing, and, more specifically, absent express language that Wage Act claims are being released, a general release is ineffective to waive them."
Melia v. Zenhire, 462 Mass. 164
Forum Selection and Wage Act Claims. "We now recognize a presumption that forum selection clauses are enforceable with respect to Wage Act claims. A party seeking to rebut this presumption must produce some evidence indicating that (1) the Wage Act applies; (2) the selected forum's choice-of-law rules would select a law other than that of Massachusetts; and (3) application of the selected law would deprive the employee of a substantive right guaranteed by the Wage Act. On the introduction of such evidence, the proponent of the forum selection clause would retain the ultimate burden of demonstrating that the clause does not operate as a "special contract.""
Meshna v. Scrivanos
, 471 Mass. 169 (2015)
No-Tipping Policy. The SJC concluded that "an employer would not be liable under MGL c.149, § 152A if it clearly communicates a no-tipping policy to customers, who nonetheless leave tips that are retained by the employer."
- How to File A Wage Complaint, Mass. Attorney General. Includes a description of the complaint process with links to forms.
- How to Protect Your Clients' Cash and Assets under New Massachusetts Personal Property Exemptions
, by Robert J. Hobbs and Hon. Carol J. Kenner, NCLC, 2011
Includes information on wage garnishment with examples illustrating when rights should be asserted and plenty of cites to relevant laws.
- Massachusetts Blue Laws, Dept. of Labor and Workforce Development
Explains rules regarding Sunday and holiday business operations
- Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court Rules That A Release Must Specifically Reference The Massachusetts Wage Act In Order Be Binding Under That Statute
By Jonathan Keselenko, Dec. 19, 2012
Explains the ruling in Crocker v. Townsend Oil Co., that "absent express language that Wage Act claims are being released, a general release is ineffective to waive them."
- Massachusetts Wage and Hour Laws: What Every Employer Needs to Know
, Foley Hoag
A 20-page guide "intended to provide Massachusetts employers with information about the basic requirements of federal and state wage and hour laws, as well as employer responsibilities regarding the proper classification of workers."
- Must I be paid for time that I am on call? , Mass. Trial Court Law Libraries
- New Treble Damages Requirement Makes Compliance With Wage/Hour Laws Even More Critical
, Employment Law Advisor, July 2008
The state law differs from federal law, and this article "reviews several... pay practices and provides practical advice on how to avoid wage hour problems."
- Split Shifts - Waiting and Travel Time, Opinion Letter MW-2002-019, Labor and Workforce Development, 2002.
Explains wage requirements for split shifts and for travel time within the workday.
- Wage and Hour Overview, Mass. Attorney General.
Covers a variety of wage issues including wage complaints, meal breaks, tips, and more.
- What is a Valid Set-off Under the Massachusetts Wage Act?
, Massachusetts Wage Law Blog, 2012.
Discusses wage set-offs in light of the Camara decision (above).
- What is the minimum number of hours for which an employee must be paid on a given work day? , Mass. Trial Court Law Libraries
- Working on Sundays and Holidays, Mass. Attorney General.
Does my employer have to pay me time and a half for working on a Sunday? "The Massachusetts Blue laws control hours of operation for certain businesses and require premium pay for some businesses on Sundays and some legal holidays. M.G.L. c. 136, § 6 contains exemptions from Blue Law restrictions for various retail and non-retail businesses. Special rules also apply to factories and mills and to the sale of alcoholic beverages (M.G.L. 138, §§ 15 and 33B)." This page provides general information to help both workers and employers understand these laws.
- Labor and Employment in Massachusetts , Matthew Bender, loose-leaf. Chapter 2: Hours of work and wages.
- Massachusetts Employment Law , MCLE, loose-leaf. Chapter 20.
- Massachusetts Wage and Hours Handbook , MCLE, 2016
- Wages and Hours, Law and Practice , Matthew Bender, loose-leaf.
Last update: July 10, 2017