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Massachusetts law about overtime

A compilation of laws, regulations, cases, and web sources on overtime law by the Trial Court Law Libraries.

Table of Contents

Massachusetts laws

MGL c.151, s.1A-1B State overtime law for private employers
MGL c.149, s.33B and 33C State overtime law for public employers
MGL c.149, s.30C State law governing overtime for the State Police

Federal regulations

29 CFR Part 541, Defining and Delimiting the Exemptions for Executive, Administrative, Professional, Outside Sales and Computer Employees
"White collar'' exemptions from overtime law.

Selected case law

Casseus v. Eastern Bus Company, Inc., 478 Mass. 786 (2018)
An employer with a common carrier license is exempt from the Mass. overtime statute. Thus, "all common carrier employees, even those who do not operate buses or perform any duties related to the common carrier statute, are exempt from the overtime requirement.  Although an overtime exemption for employees such as janitors and clerical workers may well be a harsh outcome, it is not thereby rendered absurd."

Lambirth v. Advanced Auto, Inc. 140 F.Supp.3d 106 (2015)
An employee who is exempt under Mass. overtime law but nonexempt under Federal law can bring suit for triple damages under the Massachusetts Wage Law.

Mullally v. Waste Management of Massachusetts, 452 Mass. 526 (2008)
Discusses the interplay between overtime and prevailing wage laws. 

Prime Communications, Inc. v. Sylvester, 34 Mass. App. Ct. 708 (1993)
"It was [the employee's] initial burden to establish [the employer's] knowledge, either actual or constructive, of any overtime hours he worked, and we conclude that he failed to meet that burden."

Vitali v. Reit Management and Research, LLC, 88 Mass. App. Ct. 99 (2015)
"If an employee has to work during what otherwise would be a [paid] lunch break, the employee gets no extra pay for doing so (since she or he is already being paid for that time). However, such worked lunch time can be counted toward the forty-hour overtime threshold, thus potentially indirectly increasing the employee's overall compensation." The employee in this case was due credit for lunch hours worked, where they were not properly reported due to issues with the reporting system, but where the employer had at least constructive knowledge that the hours were worked.

Web sources

Department of Labor Issues Final FLSA Overtime, Jackson Lewis, LLP. April 20, 2004
Provides detailed explanations of the tests to determine exempt status, with references to the CFR

Fact Sheet #20: Employees Paid Commissions by Retail Establishments Who are Exempt Under Section 7(i) from Overtime Under The FLSA, US Dept. of Labor
"If a retail or service employer elects to use the Section 7(i) overtime exemption for commissioned employees, three conditions must be met: 1. the employee must be employed by a retail or service establishment, and 2. the employee's regular rate of pay must exceed one and one-half times the applicable minimum wage for every hour worked in a workweek in which overtime hours are worked, and 3. more than half the employee's total earnings in a representative period must consist of commissions. Unless all three conditions are met, the Section 7(i) exemption is not applicable, and overtime premium pay must be paid for all hours worked over 40 in a workweek at time and one-half the regular rate of pay."

Minimum Wage and Overtime FAQs, Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development
Answers common questions about minimum wage and overtime

Overtime, Mass. Legal Help.
In plain language, explains Massachusetts overtime law, including who is eligible, how it is calculated, on call time, and more.

Overtime Pay, US Dept. of Labor.
Site includes information on overtime pay as well as links to Fact Sheets on various types of employees, including (but not limited to): professional employees, outside sales staff, highly-compensated workers, blue-collar workers, nurses, technologists, and journalists.

Updating and Modernizing Overtime Regulations Memorandum, The White House, March 13, 2014.

Print sources



Within Massachusetts only

Within Massachusetts only


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