Massachusetts Overtime Laws

As an employer it is extremely important to understand the applicable overtime laws.  Not knowing overtime laws can cost a workers thousands of dollars.  The federal Fair Labor Standards Act and the Massachusetts Minimum Fair Wage Act.

Under both statutes, all workers must be paid overtime for all hours worked over the forty-hour per week mark unless the worker is exempt from the statutes.  The rules for exemption are the same under the FLSA and the Massachusetts equivalent.  An employee is exempt if the employee is an:

1) Executive, Administrative or Professional Employee;

2) Highly paid employee;

3) Outside sales person;

4) Computer worker making a certain salary; or an

5) Apprentice.

Contact Muller Law or another employment attorney for guidance on whether your employees are exempt from the overtime requirement.

Calculation of the overtime rate can be more complicated that you might expect.  For instance, where workers are paid a commission– but that commission does not constitute a majority of the employee’s pay– the overtime rate is equivalent to 1.5 times the weekly pay– including commission– divided by 40 hours.  Contact an accountant, payroll company, or employment law attorney like Muller Law for a complete explanation on how to calculate the overtime rate.

However, only certain employers are entitled to overtime pay (time and a half) for each hour worked if they worked more than 40 hours per week.   Massachusetts requires employers to provide overtime on Sundays as well.  

Exceptions:  As mentioned, there are some additional workers who are not covered, they include:  rail, air and motor carrier employees; employees who sell cars, airplanes and boats; taxi drivers; movie theatre employees; and, delivery drivers. 

New Minimum Wages In Effect for 2016

As of January 1, 2016, the minimum wage is $9.60 per hour in Rhode Island and $10.00 per hour in Massachusetts.  Contact Muller Law with any questions you have regarding the impact these increases have on you or your business.