On April 15, 2008, the Massachusetts Legislature passed a bill that makes Massachusetts the first state in the country to impose automatic treble damages against any business that violates wage and hour laws. Previously, under federal and state law, treble damages were only available in cases in which a court concluded that an employer willfully and intentionally committed wage and hour violation.
The new wage act provision strikes this relevant case law and provides that a violation of any wage and hour law will result in treble damages. What this means is that if an employer fails to pay $1,000.00 to an employee, that employee is automatically due $3,000.00 under the act.
It is advisable that you check immediately with your attorney to ensure that your wage and hour policies, rules and regulations comply with the Fair Labors Standards Act and Massachusetts Law.
By: Kevin V. Maltby, Esquire