What Massachusetts Employees Need to Know About Overtime Pay

 Most employees are entitled to overtime pay after working forty hours in one week unless they are employees exempt from overtime laws, such as certain professionals and executives.  For a list of those employees exempt from overtime in Massachusetts, you can look at the law here.  M.G.L. c.  151§ 1A.   There are a few odd exceptions to the overtime law.  For instance, child actors aren’t entitled to overtime.  Why not? Ask the Massachusetts legislature that one.   Drivers and helpers on trucks aren’t entitled to overtime either, which doesn’t make sense.  You should know that even if an employee is exempt from overtime under Massachusetts law, federal law may still require overtime pay. Employees who are not exempt from the overtime laws may have a claim for overtime pay in the following situations:

  1. Where a manager deleted shifts after the employee worked forty hours in one week in order to avoid overtime pay;
  2. Where a manager required an employee to work “off the clock” at the beginning or end of a shift and the employee actually worked more than forty hours in one week;
  3. Where the employee was paid at his or her regular rate rather than time and a half after forty hours;
  4. Where a Massachusetts employee received time off (or “comp time”) instead of receiving overtime pay;
  5. Where the employer didn’t pay overtime because the employee was salaried (but the employee wasn’t otherwise exempt from the overtime laws);
  6. Where the employer gave the employee a contract to sign that said that the employee would not receive overtime, but the employee would otherwise be owed overtime pay;
  7. Where an employee was paid less than $12.00 an hour in overtime;
  8. Where a manager would not let the employee use his or her personal time card, preventing that employee from being paid for time after forty hours;
  9. Where an employee was required to travel for work (not his or her regular commute) and the travel time – in addition to other work hours – is more than forty hours per week.
  10. Where the employee earned the overtime pay but the employer refused to pay it.

Although these are some of the common situations where an employee might be due overtime pay in Massachusetts, the overtime laws and regulations are complex and every case is unique.  If you any questions regarding the information in this post, please call employment attorney Maura Greene at 617-936-1580.  In 2012, the Boston Globe named Maura Greene one of Boston’s top-rated employment attorneys.