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Most Massachusetts employers are subject to minimum wage and overtime laws.
As of 1/1/17, the Massachusetts minimum wage is $11 per hour.
The service rate for tipped employees who make more than $20 dollars a month is $3.75 per hour. To pay tipped employees this rate, the employer must notify the employee in writing of MGL c151 §7(3). Employers must pay service employees all their tips, or they may use a tip-pooling arrangement that distributes tips in equal proportions to their time pursuant to MGL c149 s 152A. They must also make at least minimum wage when they combine tips and wages. Restaurant 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 restaurant workers.
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 compensate for vacation time when an employee is not at work, or offer severance pay upon termination. However, if an employer offers a vacation plan, vacation pay may be considered wages due an employee. For the Office of the Attorney General go to www.mass.gov/ago.
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.
The Massachusetts Minimum Fair Wage Law does not distinguish between full-time or part-time employment, and both types of employees are covered by the law. As a general matter, work schedules are a matter of agreement between an employer and employee (or the employee's representative), with the exception of certain child labor provisions. For information regarding Massachusetts child labor laws, go to www.mass.gov/ago.
Complaints must be filed with the Office of the Attorney General's Fair Labor Division. For a wage complaint form, addresses and phone numbers, please visit the Attorney General's web page.
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.