No one should be cheated out of compensation due to them for the work they do. Massachusetts laws protect workers in various ways with some of the strongest employment laws in the country.
Violations can result in the worker being paid three times (treble) what is owed, plus interest, litigation expenses, and attorney fees.
You may have a claim if you believe you are owed for unpaid wages, unpaid commissions, unpaid bonuses, and other compensation. Our attorneys at Davis & Davis, P.C. can evaluate your case and offer experienced advice on potential next steps.
Wage Claim Process
The state provides an online form where you can file a complaint. Because of the volume of complaints they receive, it often takes several weeks or longer before you will hear back on whether they will investigate a claim. If important information is inadvertently left off the form, you can damage your case.
Instead, rely first on our extensive experience and knowledge in dealing with employment law violations. Remember, successful claims also pay for attorney costs and litigation fees. We know what information to include and how to present the facts on the attorney general’s form.
We’ve represented clients for various wage law violations:
- Violations for unlawful withholding of tips and gratuitites
- Failing to pay employees their full commission
- Failing to pay employees for working off-the-clock
- Misclassifying salaried employees as exempt from overtime
- Misclassifying employees as independent contractors
- Failing to pay employees for accrued vacation
- Protecting employees who are subjected to retaliation for asserting their rights
- Class actions representing dozens of similarly situated employees
It is against the law for your employer to retaliate against you for making a wage claim.
Massachusetts Weekly Wage Law (the “Wage Act”)
When an employer violates the state’s employment laws, you may be eligible for three times (treble) what is owed to you as well as attorney’s fees (M.G.L. ch. 149 §150).
The Wage Act (M.G.L ch. 149 §148) includes the following requirements:
- Employees must be paid all wages they’ve earned on either a weekly or biweekly basis. Wages include commissions, nondiscretionary bonuses, and earned vacation.
- Employers must pay an employee on the day of discharge (terminated or laid off) all wages earned.
- Employers must pay an employee who resigns all wages on the next pay date or first Saturday after their employment ends.
Massachusetts Minimum Fair Wage Law
The Commonwealth became one of a handful of states that have set in motion minimum wage increases to bring the state’s minimum wage to $15 by 2023. Each year the rate increases 75 cents (M.G.L ch. 151 §1).
Effective Jan. 1, 2022, the Massachusetts minimum wage will be $14.25 and will increase to $15.00 on Jan. 1, 2023.
The law covers all employees engaged in an occupation. Exceptions to the minimum wage law include the following:
- Professional Services
- Agricultural/Farm Work
- Seasonal Camp Counselors/Trainees
- Religious Order Work
- Outside Sales
The law also has specific provision for tipped employees. They will have a lower minimum wage than nontipped workers but will be elevated at a similar rate. Their service rate will increase from $5.55 to $6.15 on Jan. 1, 2022. This rate will increase by another 60 cents to $6.75 per hour by Jan. 1, 2023 (M.G.L ch. 151 §7). The rate should equal the basic minimum wage after including tips.
Massachusetts Overtime Act
Employers generally must pay their employees 1.5 times the regular rate of pay for hours worked over 40 in a workweek (M.G.L. ch. 151 §1A). Under certain circumstances, this law also applies to employees who earn a salary and some servers and other tipped employees.
Experienced Legal Counsel for Wage and Hour Violations
People should get paid for an honest day’s work. We take our work to uphold your employment rights very seriously. From privately negotiating settlements to trials in Massachusetts Superior Court, we have collected tens of millions of dollars in wages for our clients.