MASSACHUSETTS EMPLOYMENT LAW
Employment law (also commonly referred to as Labor Law) includes many matters pertaining to the employer-employee relationship such as wrongful termination, sexual harassment, wages and hours, discrimination at the workplace, disability law, and health and safety, among others. Complaints and employment issues are dealt with in Massachusetts by the Department of Labor and Workforce Development.
A Massachusetts employment attorney should be consulted for complicated employment cases that require extensive evidence collection, such as sexual harassment, discrimination and wrongful termination. However, seeking advice from a Massachusetts employment lawyer is strongly advised for any questions or concerns you may have about your employment law case.
Why Hire A Massachusetts Employment Attorney?
There is a complicated relationship between federal and state law in Massachusetts wrongful termination and employment law cases that must be understood to ensure a successful outcome in your case. A Massachusetts employment lawyer can assist you in understanding this connection, help you file a claim for unpaid wages with the Massachusetts Department of Labor and Workforce Development, fight your wrongful termination, structure a discrimination complaint against your employer, and/or help you decide if you have a claim worth pursuing under Massachusetts employment law, or just one that will be costly and ineffective.
Also consider hiring a Massachusetts wrongful termination lawyer if you want to file a wrongful termination claim. It can be difficult for a prior employee to deal with his former employer long enough to file a wrongful termination claim. But, a Massachusetts employment attorney is generally useful for any questions or concerns you may have, and to explain benefits and rights you have under Massachusetts employment law.
Wrongful Termination In Massachusetts
Employment is “at will” in Massachusetts, which means that a worker is free to quit his job whenever he pleases, and an employer is free to fire a worker any time, for any reason or no reason at all so long as the reason is not illegal. In Massachusetts, if the employee has an employment contract, he can only be terminated during the time period specified in the contract. If no time period is specified, he can be terminated at any time.
A “wrongful termination” claim may be filed in Massachusetts when an employer’s reason for firing a worker is illegal. Illegal reasons for termination in Massachusetts include the following:
For questions pertaining to a wrongful termination claim, contact a Massachusetts wrongful termination lawyer.
If an employer’s reason for terminating an employee is discriminatory, it is considered wrongful termination. Federal and Massachusetts law forbid the termination of employment of someone who is qualified for a position but is over a certain age (age 40) or is disabled. It is similarly illegal to fire an employee because of his race, sex, religion, or national origin. If pregnancy is seen by an employer as a disability, the employee cannot be fired for being pregnant.
Consult a Massachusetts wrongful termination lawyer if you believe you have a claim for wrongful termination.
Employee Wage/Hour Concerns in Massachusetts
Currently, the minimum wage in Massachusetts is $8.00 an hour, which is higher than the federal minimum wage ($7.25). Employees in Massachusetts must be paid at least weekly or every two weeks.
File a claim “Non-Payment of Wage and Workplace Complaint” form with the Fair Labor Division of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts Office of the Attorney General. If you are unsure how to go about filing this form, be sure to speak with a Massachusetts employment lawyer.
Overtime in Massachusetts is when a worker works over 40 hours a week and is time-and-a half pay for all overtime hours worked. Overtime pay is imposed by the United States Department of Labor, Wage and Hour Division and is mandated by the Fair Labor Standards Act. Seek advice from a Massachusetts employment attorney if you have questions about employee wages, or need assistance in filing a claim for unpaid wages or unpaid overtime. Massachusetts Employment Benefits
Massachusetts employees may be given paid vacation days, life insurance, medical benefits and sick leave by their employers, but it is not required under Massachusetts law. However, if an employee’s work shift lasts for 6 hours or more, under Massachusetts law he must be given a 30 minute meal break.
Massachusetts does not require short-term disability for employees who were injured or who become ill in accidents or for reasons unrelated to their jobs. However, Massachusetts has recently written into the law a provision for 8 weeks of maternity leave. In addition, the federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), provides 12 weeks of unpaid maternity leave.
Massachusetts disability law encompasses occupationally injured or ill workers. These workers injured in work-related accidents are entitled to some amount of compensation dependent on the categorization of the injury or illness. But, remember that Massachusetts disability law does not cover injuries or illnesses unrelated to a worker’s employment. If you have suffered an accident or job connected injury or disease you should talk to a Massachusetts workers’ compensation attorney. You should also speak to a Massachusetts employment lawyer if you are unsure of the rights and benefits you are entitled to under Massachusetts law.
Massachusetts Employment and Labor Law Statutes