When it comes to workers’ rights, many are operating in the dark. Your time is precious. So, when you work, you must be paid for all your time on the job. It’s time you learned all about your rights on the job, because what you don’t know could cost you!
Massachusetts Wage Act
You must be paid for every hour you work, even if you quit or are fired. This applies to hours worked, tips, vacation pay, holiday pay and commissions. If you voluntarily leave your job, you must be paid in full on the next regular pay day. If you are laid off or fired, you must be paid in full on the day your employment ends. Massachusetts’ minimum wage is $12.75 per hour.
If you work at least six hours a day, you are entitled to a 30 minute break. During your break you must be relieved of all duties and allowed to leave the premises. If you voluntarily elect to give up your meal break, you must be paid for the time worked.
You may be paid $4.95 an hour if you regularly receive tips of more than $20.00 per month, and only if those tips, when added to the $4.95 per hour, equal at least $12.75 per hour. Your tips are yours to keep. No employer, manager or boss may request or accept any part of your tips.
By law, employers are required to pay time-and-a-half if you work over 40 hours a week. For example, if you usually earn $12.75 per hour, you would be paid $19.00 per hour for each hour worked beyond 40 hours.
Employers with 11 or more employees must provide paid sick time up to 40 hours/year. Employers with fewer than 11 employees must provide earned sick time, but it does not need to be paid.
Massachusetts Civil Rights Law prohibits employers from treating individuals differently than others based on race, color, religion, national origin, ancestry, sex, gender identity, age, criminal record (inquiries only), disability, sexual orientation, genetics, active military personnel, or past involvement in a discrimination complaint.
Right to Organize
You have a right to organize a union at your workplace, or engage in other “concerted action” with coworkers to improve wages and working conditions.
For more information, visit www.mass.gov/ago or call the Attorney General’s office at 617-727-3465
To file a discrimination complaint, visit http://www.mass.gov/mcad/ or call the Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination at 617-994-6000
For additional assistance and advice on organizing, contact Boston Labor Solidarity Committee at 617-684-5376 – updated 3/21/2018