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Most Massachusetts employers are subject to both the federal and state minimum wage and overtime laws.
The Massachusetts minimum wage is $11 per hour. As of 1/1/17 there have been changes to the minimum wage.
The minimum wage for tipped employees who make more than $20 dollars a month in $3.75 per hour. To pay tipped employees this rate, they must know about the law. They must also make at least minimum wage when they combine tips and wages. Employees have to keep all their tips or must use a pooling arrangement that distribute tips to all workers equally. Tip-pooling arrangements must follow the requirements of Massachusetts tip-pooling laws. Also, tipped employees are exempt from overtime under the state law, but not under federal law.
The U.S. Department of Labor has information on the federal overtime requirements for tipped employees, or call the Massachusetts Wage and Hour Division at (617) 624-6700.
Under the minimum fair wage law, an employer does not have to pay extra for weekend, holiday, or night work. In some case, the Massachusetts blue laws chapter 136, require some retailers to pay premium pay for Sundays and certain holidays. For more information, refer to the Massachusetts blue laws.
The minimum fair wage law does not require employers to compensation for vacation time when an employee is not at work, or offer severance pay upon termination. But, if an employer offers a vacation plan, vacation pay may be considered wages due an employee.
Effective July 1, 2015, the Attorney General’s Office will enforce an earned sick time for employees law requiring sick leave under certain conditions. Guidance regarding the requirements of this earned sick time law can be found in this notice.
An on-call employee who is not required to be at the work site, and who is effectively free to use his or her time for his or her own purposes, is not working while on call and need not be paid. Of course, if the employee is paged and must perform work, the employee must be paid for all hours worked.
Minimum wage complaints may be filed with the Office of the Attorney General's Fair Labor Division.
Full text of minimum wage law.
If an employee is a non-exempt worker, meaning an employee who is due overtime, the employer may not award compensatory time in place of paying overtime compensation.