When an employee seeks to have a wage dispute resolved with their employer, they are protected by Massachusetts Wage and Anti-Retaliation Laws. These laws cover incidents where an employee has filed a complaint with the Attorney General’s Office, complained to any other person about his or her wage rights under the law, participated in a wage-related investigation, testified, or will soon testify about a wage-related proceeding.
When an employer violates one of the provisions, they may face serious civil or criminal penalties. These can include:
- A civil penalty of up to $15,000 per violation
- Payment of up to two month’s wages
- A fine of up to $25,000 or a jail sentence of up to one year for a first offense.
A wage attorney who is well versed in anti-retaliation laws can help a victim bring a suit and also collect damages for all forms of unpaid wages including commissions, overtime, accrued vacation, and other forms of compensation that they may be due.
Examples of Illegal Adverse Actions Include…
If an employer attempts to punish or harm an employee in any way because they filed a claim seeking wages they are due, then an employer could make things worse if they retaliate. Examples of illegal adverse actions can include:
- Discharging or firing an employee;
- Discriminating against an employee in any way, e.g., taking away work hours, giving the employee undesirable assignments, or schedule changes;
- Assaulting an employee;
- Blacklisting or defaming an employee, including giving false negative references for future employment;
- Making false criminal reports to authorities about the employee;
- Reporting an employee to immigration authorities; or
- Threatening an employee or his/her family with these or any other negative consequences or harm.
With the know-how of an experienced wage attorney in Boston, you can pursue a claim and get the compensation that you deserve.