Working Overtime and Not Being Paid? It’s Probably Illegal
Are you working overtime and not being paid time-and-a-half? For most workers in Massachusetts, that’s illegal. Massachusetts has strict laws on who is exempt from overtime. In most cases, if you are paid by the hour and your employer can direct how and when you work, you are entitled to overtime.
When would you be entitled to overtime? The answer is simple – any time you work more than 40 hours in a week. If you are paid biweekly, and you work more than 40 hours one week and less than 40 the next week, your employer may not average these to avoid paying you for the additional time.
The Massachusetts law that requires private employees to be paid overtime is Chapter 151, Section 1A of the Massachusetts General Laws. There are a few exceptions to this law, but it covers the vast majority of hourly employees. The penalty is that the employer must pay you three times the amount of unpaid wages, plus costs attorney’s fees.
Federal law also regulates minimum wage under the Fair Labor Standards Act, and has the same requirement to pay overtime as the Massachusetts law.
Even though the national minimum wage is $7.25, the minimum wage in Massachusetts beginning in 2016 is $10 per hour. This means that for each hour over 40 hours you must be paid $15 per hour. In 2017, this increases to $11 per hour.
If you have reviewed your paystubs and your employer is not paying you correctly for the hours you are working, contact us for a no-cost case evaluation to see whether we can help you.