Frequently asked questions about COVID-19: Employee rights and employer obligations, Massachusetts Attorney General’s Office
MGL c.149, § 148
Payment of Wages. In most circumstances, if you are fired you should be paid in full on your last day.
"any employee discharged from such employment shall be paid in full on the day of his discharge..."
Selected case law
Barbuto v. Advantage Sales and Marketing, LLC, 477 Mass. 456 (2017)
An employee who has been fired for using medical marijuana off-site, and not before or during work, may sue her employer for handicap discrimination.
Brookline v. Alston, 487 Mass. 278 (2021)
"The Civil Service Commission, in the context of its analysis whether a tenured firefighter was fired without just cause in violation of basic merit principles, could consider evidence of discriminatory or retaliatory conduct more typically addressed in the context of a claim under G. L. c. 151B."
Electronic Data Systems Corp. v. Attorney General & another, 454 Mass. 63 (2009)
"The Wage Act requires that an employer pay an employee for unused vacation time remaining at the time of the employee's involuntary discharge..."
Lawless v. Steward Health Care System, LLC, 894 F.3d 9 (1st Cir. 2018)
The Wage Act, MGL c.149, § 148, "says what it means and means what it says... An employee who does not receive her due wages by [the day of her discharge] - even an employee who is paid in full a day later - suffers a cognizable injury within the purview of the statute."
Meehan v. Medical Information Technology, Inc., 99 Mass. App. Ct. 95 (2021)
An employee at will can be fired for exercising their right to file a rebuttal to a performance improvement plan (PIP) under GL c.149, § 52C.
Mui v. Massachusetts Port Authority, 478 Mass. 710 (2018)
Accrued, unused sick time does not count as "wages" under the Wage Act, G. L. c. 149, §§ 148, 150.
Can an employee be fired for no reason?, Archived from Boston Globe, 2005
Although it seems almost impossible to believe, employers in Massachusetts, or in any other employee-at-will state, can fire any employee at any time for any reason — or even for no reason at all. An employer can terminate any employee, with or without notice.
Exceptions to the at-will employment doctrine, Robert S. Mantell, 2016
"The at-will employment doctrine, that an employee can be terminated for any reason or for no reason, is a doctrine whose validity is dwarfed by its numerous exceptions." This article lists those exceptions with references to Mass. General Laws and relevant cases.
Employee discharge and documentation, Lorman Education Services, 2008
Hiring and firing in Massachusetts, by John F. Adkins, MCLE, c2007
Human resource law from A to Z, NBI, 2019
Labor and employment in Massachusetts, Jeffrey L. Hirsch, LexisNexis, loose-leaf
Chapter 18: Termination of Employment
Representing a plaintiff in a wrongful termination case, MCLE, 2018
1. Interviewing the client -- 2. Evaluating claims and damages -- 3. Anticipating employer defenses -- 4. Counseling the client on strategy options -- 5. Litigating the claim -- 6. Trying the case.
Wrongful termination and exceptions to employment at-will, MCLE, 2007.
1: Preserving the at-will employment doctrine, 2: Exceptions to the at-will employment doctrine, 3: Defamation in employment, 4: Recent wrongful termination cases in Massachusetts, 5: Damages, 6: Wrongful termination and tort claims.
|Last updated:||May 14, 2021|