Massachusetts – Minimum Wage, Overtime, Hours and Leave

Minimum Wage

Massachusetts’ current minimum wage is $13.50.

For more information on Massachusetts 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. MA Statute 151-1A; Mass. Labor and Workforce Development FAQ. See FLSA: Overtime for more information regarding overtime requirements.

Blue Laws

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.

Prevailing Wages

Under certain circumstances, employers in Massachusetts may be required to pay residents wage rates established by the federal or state prevailing wage rates and rules. The prevailing wage rates may be different from the state’s standard minimum wage rates. Employees may be eligible for prevailing wages if they work on federal or state government or government-funded construction projects or perform certain federal or state government services. See the Massachusetts Prevailing Wages, Davis-Bacon and Related Acts, McNamara-O’Hara Service Contract Act (SCA), and Walsh-Healey Public Contracts Act (PCA) for more information about prevailing wages.

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. MA Statute 149-100. 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 08-05-03. 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 08-05-03; see also MA Dept. of Labor and Workforce Dev., Opinion Letter 04-27-05.

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.

MA Statute 149-101.

Nursing Mother Breaks

Massachusetts’ labor laws require employers to provide nursing employees which reasonable accommodation with includes giving the nursing employees time to express milk in private non-bathroom spaces. MA Statute 151-4A.

Vacation Leave

Information about Massachusetts vacation leave laws may now be found on our Massachusetts Leave Laws page.

Sick Leave

Information about Massachusetts sick leave laws may now be found on our Massachusetts Leave Laws page.

Holiday Leave

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.

Voting Leave

Information about Massachusetts voting leave laws may now be found on our Massachusetts Leave Laws page.

Severance Pay

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.


Under certain circumstances, Massachusetts residents may be eligible for unemployment benefits while they search for another job. You are required to certify that you are unemployed on a weekly basis to receive these benefits. See Massachusetts State Unemployment Benefits.

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