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Massachusetts law about minimum wage

A compilation of laws, regulations, cases, and web sources on minimum wage law.

Massachusetts Minimum Wage is $11.00 effective January 1, 2017

Note: There are many circumstances in which different wages may be paid. See links below for more information.

Massachusetts laws

MGL c.151 Minimum Fair Wages

Massachusetts regulations

454 CMR 27 Minimum Wage

Federal laws

29 U.S. Code § 206 Minimum Wage
Federal minimum wage is $7.25 per hour, effective July 24, 2009

Federal regulations

29 CFR Part 541 Defining and Delimiting the Exemptions for Executive, Administrative, Professional, Outside Sales and Computer Employees. "White Collar'' exemptions from minimum wage laws.

Web sources

Attorney General Opinion Letter MW-2002-004: Applicability of M.G.L. c. 151 to Town Employees, Mass. Attorney General.
Municipal employees are excluded from the state minimum wage law, but are subject to the federal minimum wage. 

Can tipped employees be paid less than minimum wage?

Yes and no. A different minimum wage is set for tipped employees. See 454 CMR 27.03(2)  for detailed information. The minimum wage for tipped employees (that is, employees who receive more than $20 a month in tips) is $3.75 an hour as of January 1, 2017 (MGL c. 151 s. 7 .). However, for employers to pay these employees this different minimum wage they must inform the employee of this law and the employee must receive at least the minimum wage as determined by MGL c.151 s. 1 when actual tips and wages are combined. In addition, all tips must be retained by the employee or distributed through a valid tip-pool as defined by MGL c.149 s.152A . If the combined wages and actual tips do not at least equal the regular minimum wage, the employer must pay the employee the difference. MGL c. 151 s. 7 .

Federal Minimum Wage Information, US Dept. of Labor.
Includes links to federal laws and regulations, and web pages on a variety of minimum wage topics.

Important Changes to the Massachusetts Minimum Wage, Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development.
Highlights the current minimum wage, as well as the service rate (for tipped employees) and the agricultural rate.

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

Minimum Wage Program, Division of Occupational Safety
This agency is responsible for administering the minimum wage program and so the site includes information on obtaining opinion letters and minimum wage waivers

Massachusetts Wage and Hours Handbook, MCLE, 2014

Last update: March 1, 2017

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