Massachusetts Labor Laws – Wage and Hour
Massachusetts’ current minimum wage is $8.00.
For more information on Massachusetts’s minimum wage laws, visit our Massachusetts Minimum Wage Laws page, which includes topics such as minimum wage, tip minimum wage, tip sharing and pooling, and subminimum wages.
Related topic covered on other pages include:
Massachusetts labor laws require employers to pay employees overtime at a rate of 1½ time their regular rate when they work 40 hours or more in a work week, unless otherwise exempt. Mass. Gen. Law Ch. 151, Sec. 1A; Mass. Labor and Workforce Development FAQ. See FLSA: Overtime for more information regarding overtime requirements.
Massachusetts maintains laws, known as Blue Laws, that limit an employer’s ability to require employees to work on Sundays and some holidays. Also, in situations where employers are permitted to employ employees on Sundays or holidays, they may be required to pay those employee at a rate of 1½ times their regular rate. See Holiday Leave, Mass. Blue Laws Overview.
Meals and Breaks
Under Massachusetts labor laws, employers may not require employees to work more than six hours in a calendar day without providing them a 30-minute break, except in those situations listed below. Mass. Gen. Law Ch 149, Sec. 100. The break period may be unpaid if employees are (1) free from all duties and (2) free to leave the workplace during the break. MA Dept. of Labor and Workforce Dev., Opinion Letter MW-2003-008. An employer must compensate an employee at least minimum wage for the 30-minute break if the employee has voluntarily agreed to forgo the break period by (1) working through his or her break or (2) remaining on the premises during the break at the request of the employer even though no work is performed. MA Dept. of Labor and Workforce Dev., Opinion Letter MW-2003-008; see also MA Dept. of Labor and Workforce Dev., Opinion Letter MW-2005-002.
Employers are not required to provide the 30-minute break to employees working in the following:
- iron works,
- glass works,
- paper mills,
- letterpress establishments,
- print works,
- bleaching works,
- dyeing works, or
- any other factories, workshops, or mechanical establishments the Attorney General of Massachusetts designates as exempt due to the continuous nature of the process or other special circumstance, so long as it does not result in injury to the affected employees.
Information about Massachusetts vacation leave laws may now be found on our Massachusetts Leave Laws page.
Information about Massachusetts sick leave laws may now be found on our Massachusetts Leave Laws page.
Information about Massachusetts holiday leave laws may now be found on our Massachusetts Leave Laws page.
Jury Duty Leave
Information about Massachusetts jury duty leave laws may now be found on our Massachusetts Leave Laws page.
Information about Massachusetts voting leave laws may now be found on our Massachusetts Leave Laws page.
Massachusetts labor laws do not require employers to provide employees with severance pay. MA Off. of Labor FAQs. If an employer chooses to provide severance benefits, it must comply with the terms of its established policy or employment contract.