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Some basic Massachusetts wage and hour laws

Like other states, Massachusetts has minimum wage laws. Again like many other states, the minimum wage in this state is actually higher than what is required under federal law, at $12 an hour. The minimum wage will increase to $12.75 an hour in 2020.

It may seem fairly simple for employers to calculate, and pay, an employee's minimum wage, or, for that matter, whatever the workers' hourly wages may be. However, there are actually some nuances that employers will want to keep in mind.

For instance, while employers do not have to offer paid vacation at all, if they do, then they may have to pay the vacation benefits as if they were wages. Massachusetts also has a law that may require a construction firm to pay employees sick time.

On the other hand, employers do not have to pay employees under every circumstance that might be remotely related to work. For instance, an employee who is expected to be on call does not have a right to demand compensation for his or her on-call time. This is so as long as the employee has reasonable freedom to do as he or she pleases. If the worker does get called in, then the employer must pay the worker's wages.

The minimum wage laws of this state, as well as other federal and state wage and hour laws, can be hard for even the best-intentioned employers to understand and follow. Having the guidance of an attorney who practices employment law for employers can be very important, especially if a company finds itself accused of violating wage and hour laws.

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