- Department of Labor Standards (DLS) administers the Commonwealth's Minimum Fair Wage Law, MGL ch. 151, sec. 1 through 22.
The Minimum Fair Wage Law and Regulations address not only the payment of the basic minimum wage but also overtime; the minimum wage for tipped employees; reporting pay; on-duty or on-call time; travel time and expenses; deductions for lodging, meals, and uniforms; and wage records that employers are required to keep. If you have a question about the meaning of a provision in the Minimum Wage Law or Regulations, see the Minimum Wage and Overtime FAQs section below. If your question is not answered by the FAQs, email the Minimum Wage Program at Minimum.Wage@state.ma.us or call 617-626-6952.
The Massachusetts Minimum Wage is $8.00 per hour. The Service Rate is $2.63 per hour.
- The Department of Labor Standards (DLS) issues prevailing wage schedules to cities, towns, counties, districts, authorities, and agencies of the commonwealth for construction projects and several other types of public work. These prevailing wage schedules contain hourly wage rates that workers must receive when working on a public project.
- Restrictions on business openings on Sundays and holidays, the Massachusetts Blue Laws, are enforced by the Attorney General's Fair Labor Division. The information provided here is designed to help both employees and employers understand the law in this area. If you have questions about possible violations of these laws, please contact the Attorney General's Fair Labor Division at 617-727-3465. If you have questions about statewide approval of local permits for holiday openings, please contact the Department of Labor Standards' Minimum Wage Program at 617-626-6952.
Significant amendments were made to the Massachusetts Child Labor Laws, M.G.L. c. 149, 53-105, in 2007. The amendments affect minors' working hours, provide for certain additional required supervision, streamline the work permit process, strengthen existing criminal penalties and also allow for civil penalties in the event of violations. A complete summary of the Massachusetts laws regulating child labor, including the recent changes, may be found below. As a result of the legislation, there is a single application and permit process for all teen workers ages 14-17. All teens under 18 years of age must complete a work permit application and obtain a work permit before starting a new job.
Minors: With very limited exceptions, minors under the age of 14 may not be employed. All minors under the age of 18 must complete an employment permit application and obtain the permit before starting a new job. Applications for employment permits are available for download using the links below. You may also access these forms in multiple languages.
For minors who are residents of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, permits are issued by the superintendent of schools for the municipality in which the minor lives or attends school - either is acceptable. If the minor resides outside the Commonwealth, the permit is issued by the superintendent for the municipality where the minor's job will be located.
A minor cannot be granted a permit unless the specific employer, work address, and job description have been provided.
Minors who are no longer students are covered by the child labor laws in the same way that students of the same age are covered.
Employers: The employer must keep the original permit on file at the place of employment as long as the minor is employed at that location or until the minor reaches the age of 18. If the minor's employment is terminated, voluntarily or otherwise, the employer must return the permit to the superintendent's office within two days of the termination. If and when the employer returns the permit, there is not a law that specifies any requirements for maintaining permits. Typically, most schools keep them on file until the minor turns 18. Permits are valid as long as the minor holds the job or until he or she reaches the age of 18. At that time, the minor no longer needs documentation and the permit and copies may be destroyed.
Minors cannot transfer a permit given for one job to another job. The process must begin again, even if the employer is the same but the work location has changed. An employer who wishes to employ a minor at more than one location must keep a permit on file at each business location. However, a minor does not have to apply for a new employment permit at the beginning of the school year if they have the same job.
- The Employment Agency Program protects the rights of workers being placed by employment agencies,and ensures those agencies use fair, ethical, and legal business practices.We cover Modeling Agencies, Home Careplacement Agencies, Nanny and/or Babysitter, Placement Agencies, Temporary Staffing and Labor Firms, Permanent Placement Employment Firms.