Wage & Hour Laws
State and federal wage and hour laws require wages, which may include commissions, vacation and other guaranteed pay, to be paid in a timely manner, usually weekly or bi-weekly and upon termination.
These laws apply to employees only, but, in limited circumstances, may apply to individuals who are labeled “independent contractors” based on how their work is controlled by the employer.
These laws also require that employees be paid for each hour worked and, for time in excess of forty hours, employees must be paid overtime at a rate of time and one-half. Exemptions to this rule exist for administrative, executive and professional employees, computer professional and outside sales employees who earn a certain salary per week.
It is critical to not only pay employees in a timely manner, but to properly classify them as exempt or non-exempt.
Damages for violating state or federal wage and hour laws may result in an award of back pay, punitive damages and attorney’s fees. In Massachusetts, a violation of these laws results in an automatic trebling of wages owed, regardless of the employer’s intent.
State and Federal Wage and Hour Laws and Regulations
- Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938
- Massachusetts Wage Act, M.G.L. c. 149, §§ 148, 148A, 150
- Massachusetts Minimum Wages Act, M.G.L. c. 151, §§ 1, 1A, 1B
State law provides a comprehensive system for funding and providing benefits for employees injured during the course of their employment, as well as a special administrative agency, the Division of Industrial Accidents, to oversee and adjudicate such benefits.
The Worker’s Compensation Act also provides protections for employees who are injured in the course of their employment which prohibit discrimination and retaliation by employers.