The purpose of Massachusetts labor laws is to make certain that employers treat their staff fairly. The Massachusetts state government implements regulations in order to protect the welfare of employees and promote relationships between employers and employees that are stable and beneficial to all involved.
As a business owner, it may be difficult to fully grasp all of the regulations and restrictions that you must abide by in regard to your employees. An examination of Massachusetts labor and employment law basics reveals three main areas to get you started:
1. Employers must pay their employees comparable salaries or minimum wage and compensate employees fairly for overtime under Massachusetts labor law.
2. Labor law in Massachusetts maintains strict regulations regarding the employment of minors.
3. An employer must maintain workers’ compensation insurance to protect his or her business and employees under Massachusetts work laws.
Pay your employees appropriately under Massachusetts labor and employment lawIn Massachusetts, if the federal minimum wage is equal to or higher than that set by the state, then the state minimum wage automatically increases by $0.10. Businesses must pay their employees the state or federal established minimum wage at that time, whichever is higher. In this case, Massachusetts employers will always pay employees the state minimum wage. Additionally, there is a requirement to pay employees time and a half (the sum of their regular hourly wage plus half of their regular hourly wage) for each hour worked over 40 hours in one week's time.
U.S. Department of Labor provides a quick reference for the current minimum wage in Massachusetts. You must hang a minimum wage poster at your business for employees to see. Visit LaborLawCenter to purchase professionally printed Massachusetts labor laws posters.
Apply Massachusetts employment labor law regarding youth employmentUnder Massachusetts state labor laws for youth, your business cannot employee someone under the age of 18 unless that person has a work permit. Minors cannot work more than 18 hours a week. Additionally, employees that are 14 or 15 can only work until 7 p.m. during the school year and 9 p.m. during summer vacation. After 8 p.m., all minors must work under adult supervision or in a location where security is available until close.
Retailers Association of Massachusetts provides further child labor law information. A child must be 14 years old to work, but the website for the Attorney General of Massachusetts provides exceptions to that rule.
Protect your business under Massachusetts employee laws with workers' compensation insuranceMassachusetts employment law requires employers to maintain workers' compensation insurance to protect employees and their families if injury or death occurs on the job. The burden of proof that the injury occurred while working is on the employee. However, employers may have to cover medical expenses prior to the conclusion of litigation.
Massachusetts Labor and Workforce Development provides answers to frequently asked questions by businesses concerning workers' comp regulations. For continued advice and case assistance regarding labor laws, consult with a law firm, such as Nutter.
- Massachusetts labor laws require business owners with employees to contribute quarterly to the state's unemployment insurance fund, which provides income to employees who lose their jobs through no fault of their own (such as layoffs).