Every Massachusetts employee is entitled to workplace rights that are protected under state labor laws.
The Office of the Attorney General (AGO) and the Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development (EOLWD) advocate for Massachusetts worker rights through the following practices and programs:
Child Labor/ Youth Employment
Because young workers tend to suffer injuries at much higher rates than adults, Massachusetts youth employment and child labor laws protect young workers and restrict the work of minors with respect to three main areas:
All minors under the age of 18 years old must apply for a youth permit to work in Massachusetts.
Public Construction Work
Massachusetts Prevailing Wage laws require that employees working on public projects be paid a minimum hourly rate set by the Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development (EOLWD) and the Division of Occupational Safety. This hourly rate ensures that employees are being fairly paid for their trade and services across the state, instead of rates fluctuating between cities and towns.
The Massachusetts minimum wage is currently $8.00 per hour. The Minimum Wage law applies to all employees except those being rehabilitated or trained in charitable, educational, or religious institutions. In addition, the law does not apply to members of religious orders, agricultural, floricultural, and horticultural workers.
When working more than 40 hours per week, most hourly and salaried employees must be paid overtime, or one and one-half times their regular hourly rate.
To ensure employees working off tips receive minimum wage, they must be paid a minimum of $2.63 per hour and ensure that with tips, the employee receives at least $8.00 per hour. If the total hourly rate for the employee, including tips, does not equal $8.00, then the employer must make up the difference.
Working on Sundays and Holidays
The Massachusetts Blue Laws place restrictions on Sunday and holiday openings for businesses. As a general rule, if an employer has more than seven employees, then any non-exempt workers must receive Sunday Premium Pay, or at least one and one-half times their regular hourly rate. Premium Pay also applies to specific holidays.
By law, employees must receive 30-minute meal breaks after six hours of work. Employees are paid for all hours worked, not including their 30-minute meal break.
Employers who choose to provide paid vacation to their employees must treat those payments like regular wages under Massachusetts General Law. Withholding vacation payments is the equivalent of withholding wages and, as such, is illegal. Employees must be paid for all earned vacation upon termination of employment.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) office provides a Spanish language page with valuable labor-related information to keep workers safe while on the job.
Know your rights and responsibilities as an employee! For questions or concerns, tweet @MassGov.
Childhood Vaccination Schedule and Requirements in Massachusetts posted on Apr 17
Massachusetts was among the first places in the world to eliminate smallpox through the use of vaccines, according to the state’s Bureau of Infectious Disease Prevention, Response, and Services. With this precedent in mind, the Massachusetts Executive Office of Health and Human Services (HHS) created …Continue Reading Childhood Vaccination Schedule and Requirements in Massachusetts
How to Delay or Prevent Type 2 Diabetes posted on Apr 15
Type 2 diabetes accounts for 90 to 95 percent of cases of diabetes, in which blood sugar (glucose) levels are too high, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The good news is that type 2 diabetes can be prevented, even among people …Continue Reading How to Delay or Prevent Type 2 Diabetes
The 2015 Boston Marathon Spectator Guidelines posted on Apr 13
This is a guest blog post from the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency (MEMA). The 119th running of the Boston Marathon will be held on Patriot’s Day, Monday, April 20, 2015. This year, 30,000 registered participants will run the 26.2-mile course, which starts in Hopkinton and passes …Continue Reading The 2015 Boston Marathon Spectator Guidelines