Superior Court Judge Rules that Massachusetts Wage Act Applies to Severance Pay

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For years, Massachusetts courts have held that the Massachusetts Wage Act does not cover payments to employees such as bonuses and severance. However, a recent decision of the Massachusetts Superior Court may represent a significant shift in the opposite direction. In Juergens v. MicroGroup, Inc., the Superior Court held that the term “wages” under the Wage Act includes severance pay.

In Juergens, the plaintiff alleged that his offer of employment with MicroGroup included a promise of severance equal to six months of pay if he was terminated without cause. The plaintiff accepted that offer and began working in October 2008. In February 2010, the plaintiff was informed that his position was being eliminated. He was not paid any severance after his termination.

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