Massachusetts Wage and Hour Laws

Massachusetts wage and hour laws concept. Blue-collar workers at work in a big factory. Labor, industry.

Massachusetts wage and hour laws govern the rules about an employees’ pay, their right to be paid earned commissions, their right to meal breaks, and their right to take time off from work. If an employer violates the state’s wage and hour laws, all employees affected may have claims for damages. At the Maura Greene Law Group, our team of knowledgeable employment law attorneys is prepared to zealously advocate for your rights under Massachusetts wage and hour laws. To learn more, call or contact our office today.

Minimum Wage and Overtime Laws

As of January 1, 2020, minimum wage for workers in Massachusetts is $12.75 per hour, and that amount will increase over time to $15.00 per hour by 2023. Workers who earn tips can be paid less than the hourly minimum wage, so long as their wage plus tips equals minimum wage. Any difference between a tipped worker’s wages and the minimum wage must be made up by the employer. The minimum service wage in Massachusetts for 2020 is $4.95, which means that each employee’s tip credit per hour must be at least $7.80.

In addition, most workers in Massachusetts are entitled to overtime wages if they work more than 40 hours per week at a single job, and the job meets overtime requirements. Overtime pay is one and a half times the regular hourly wage for every hour worked over 40 hours per week. Some jobs exempt from overtime pay include golf caddies, bona fide executives, outside salesmen, fishermen, hotel workers, hospital workers, summer camp employees, and others. Talk to an experienced employment law attorney to determine whether your job qualifies you for overtime pay.

Payment of Wages

Workers in Massachusetts have a right to their wages, earned tips, vacation pay, holiday pay, and commissions, including payment for all hours worked. For hourly workers, state law requires that they be paid weekly or bi-weekly. Employers can require that workers be paid via direct deposit but cannot mandate a specific banking institution, nor can they charge a fee to employees to access their pay.

When determining hours worked, an employee is entitled to pay for all time on duty at the employer’s worksite, any time worked before or after their shift, and generally any travel time during the workday that is not in their ordinary commute. Employees who work during an unpaid lunch break are entitled to be compensated for that working time. In addition, if an employee is scheduled to work three or more hours in a day, shows up on time for work, and is sent home after working less than three hours they are still entitled to three hours of at least minimum wage for the day.

Triple Damages

Massachusetts has very strict wage and hour laws. If an employer violates an employee wage and hour rights, and the employee wins at trial, an employee can recover treble (“triple”) their damages, reimbursement for their attorneys’ fees, costs, expenses, interests and other damages. 

Call or Contact Our Office Today About Massachusetts Wage and Hour Laws

Do you suspect a wage or hour violation at your workplace? If so, call the office or contact us today at the Maura Greene Law Group to schedule a consultation of your case with a knowledgeable Massachusetts employment law attorney to learn more about your legal options.

The Not So Fine Print:

We see patterns in our practice, like the ones described above.  However, every case has its own unique facts. The materials available on this web site are for informational purposes only and not for the purpose of providing legal advice. Before you take any action, you should contact an employment attorney to obtain advice on your own situation. We can’t provide legal advice here and this isn’t intended as legal advice. Use of and access to this Web site do not create an attorney-client relationship between the law firm and the user or browser.