Employers Relied on Dobin v. CIOView for Almost 20 YearsMassachusetts has one of the strictest wage payment laws in the country – rivaling even the draconian remedies available to employees across the country in California. Under the Massachusetts Wage Act, employees are automatically entitled to triple damages, attorneys’ fees, and interest for even technical or unknowing violations of the state’s wage laws.In the context of the requirements for an employee’s final pay, Mass. G. L. c. 149, § 148 (Section 148) mandates that when an employee is involuntarily terminated, the employer must provide the employee’s final wages and the balance of any unused vacation time on the day the employee is terminated. Further, under Mass. G. L. c. 149, § 150 (Section 150), a “defendant shall not set up as a defence [sic] a payment of wages after the bringing of the complaint.”
By Kenneth M. Bello and Louise ReohrA recent case highlights the need for Massachusetts’ employers to tread carefully around the so-called Wage Act, M.G.L. c. 149, § 148. Under this law, an employee who successfully makes out a claim for non-payment of wages “shall be” awarded automatic treble damages together with litigation costs and attorneys’ fees.
Beth Reuter was terminated from her employment with the City of Methuen (the “City”). On her termination date, the City failed to pay Ms. Reuter for her accrued, unused vacation time, as required by M. G. L. c. 149, § 148 (the Massachusetts Wage Act). Instead, the City waited three weeks after her termination to make this payment.
Authored by Daniel KleinOn January 25, 2011, the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court affirmed a decision by the Division of Administrative Law Appeals (DALA) upholding a citation by the Attorney General’s Office against Michael Camara and his company, ABC Disposal, Inc., a recycling and waste hauling company, for illegally deducting from employees’ wages, in violation of the Massachusetts Wage Act, M.G.L. c. 149, § 148. In making this decision, the SJC has validated the Attorney General’s strict interpretation of the state’s Wage Act, making it more difficult for employers to deduct from wages costs attributable to an employee’s fault or negligence, even where the employee has authorized the deduction.
lements in the amount of $5,000 or less; or (2) Class A misdemeanor for unpaid wages, final compensation or wage supplements in the amount of more than $5,000.Employers who have been ordered to pay wages, final compensation, or wage supplements due to employees must pay a $250 administrative fee to the Department of Labor if the amount ordered by the Department as wages owed is $3,000 or less; $500 if the amount ordered by the Department as wages owed is more than $3,000, but less than $10,000; and $1,000 if the amount ordered by the Department as wages owed is $10,000 or more. (820 ILCS 155/14).MassachusettsWeekly or bi-weekly (non-exempts) Within six days of the end of the pay period if employed for five or six days in a calendar week; orWithin seven days of the end of the pay period if employed seven days in a calendar week; orWithin seven days of the end of the pay period if employed less than five days.Exempt employees can be paid semi-monthly (or monthly at their election). (Mass. Gen. Laws ch. 149, § 148)Late wages (even 1 day late) are subject to treble damages and attorneys' fees (plus interest) even if the employer pays the employee before the employee brings a claim. (Mass. Gen. Laws ch. 149, § 150)NevadaWages that are earned before: The first day of the month must be paid no later than 8 a.m. on the 15th day of the month immediately after the one that the wages were earned in.The 16th day of the month must be paid no later than 8 a.m. on the last day of the same month.Employer and employee may agree to a different payment schedule.Employer must provide affected employees with at least seven days' written notice before changing the payday or place of payment. (Nev. Rev. Stat. §§ 608.060, 608.070)Employers that violate the wage payment law are guilty of misdemeanors.Employees may bring a civil action against an employer and, are entitled to all remedies available under law or in equity appropriate to remedy the violation, including without limitation, back pay, damages, reinstat
In Devaney v. Zucchini Gold, LLC, the plaintiffs were restaurant workers routinely working in excess of 40 hours per week whose employer failed to pay the workers overtime wages required by the FLSA. SJC-13176 (Wendlandt, J. April 14, 2022).The plaintiffs brought suit against their employer in September 2015 alleging violations of the FLSA for failure to pay overtime wages, violations of the Massachusetts Wage Act (M.G.L. c. 149, § 148) for failure to pay the FLSA overtime wages in a timely manner, and violations of the Federal and State minimum wage laws. Because the state overtime law, M.G.L. c. 151, § 1A, specifically exempts restaurant workers like the plaintiffs, they did not pursue a claim under that state law provision.
BackgroundThe Massachusetts Wage Act, M.G.L. c. 149, § 148 (the Wage Act), requires that employers pay terminated employees the full amount of owed wages on the day of discharge. Employees who voluntarily resign from employment may be paid on the next regular payday.
Three weeks later, the City sent the plaintiff checks in full payment of that amount.One year later, the plaintiff’s counsel sent the City a letter asserting that the City had violated the Massachusetts Payment of Wages Law, Mass. Gen. Laws ch. 149, § 148, by not paying the plaintiff the full amount of her accrued, unused vacation on the date of termination. The Payment of Wages Law provides that an employee who is terminated “shall be paid in full on the day of his discharge.”
The workers reported to the DFW office at the beginning and end of the workday, but spent the day making sales calls, and never visited the Credico offices.Three DFW workers filed a complaint against Credico, DFW, and DFW's owner and operator, Jason Ward, alleging, in part, that Credico was their joint employer, and that it, along with DFW, violated the independent contractor statute by misclassifying them as independent contractors and the Wage Act (MGL c. 149, § 148) by failing to pay minimum wage and overtime. DFW moved for summary judgment, arguing that it was not a joint employer of the workers.
Independent contractors and municipal employees are not eligible for paid sick leave. Mass. Gen. Laws Ch. 149, § 148(c)-(d).MICHIGAN In Michigan, employers with at least 50 employees must provide nonexempt employees one hour of earned sick time for every 35 hours worked, up to a maximum of 40 hours in a year.