Payment of Wages – All wages must be paid within six days of the end of the pay period if the employee is employed less than seven days a week, and must be paid within seven days of the end of the pay period if the employee works seven days a week. Employees who are fired or laid off must be paid any wages due (including vacation time earned) on the day that they are terminated.
Overtime Pay – Most employees must be paid one and one-half times their regular rate for any hours worked over 40 in one week. However, there are several exceptions to this rule under both Massachusetts state law and federal law.
Tips Law – If tipped employees are not making the minimum wage of $8.00 an hour when their average hourly tips are added to the service minimum wage ($2.63), the employer must make up the difference. Employers are not permitted to require service employees to pool tips and distribute the tips to non-service employees; management employees or owners may never receive a portion of the employee’s tips.
Meal Breaks – An employee working six or more hours a day must receive a 30-minute break, during which he must be allowed to leave the workplace. While employers are not generally required to compensate the employee for this break, there are two circumstances under which the employer must pay the employee: (1) if the employee works through her meal break; or (2) if the employee remains on the premises at the request of her employer during her meal break she must be compensated.
This is just a brief summary of current Massachusetts wage and hour laws. If you have questions regarding compliance or more complex issues, you are urged to contact an employment attorney.