Wage Act

News & Analysis as of

Don’t Let a “Bonus” Become a “Wage” (Under the MA Wage Act)

As I have previously warned in prior blog, the Massachusetts Wage Act exposes a company and individuals having management responsibility for the company to mandatory treble damages and attorneys’ fees for failing to pay...more

SJC Holds that Massachusetts Wage Act Is Not Intended to be Sole Remedy for Recovery of Unpaid Wages Under State Law

On August 12, 2013, the Supreme Judicial Court (SJC) held in Lipsitt v. Plaud that the Massachusetts Wage Act is not intended to be the sole remedy for the recovery of unpaid wages under state law. The Court concluded that...more

Massachusetts SJC Holds That Wage Act Does Not Preempt Common Law and Equitable Claims for Unpaid Wages

The Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court (SJC) has overruled a Superior Court decision holding that a state statute requiring payment of wages preempts common law and equitable causes of action for recovery of unpaid wages....more

The Applicability of the Massachusetts Wage Act Swells in June 2013

In late June 2013, the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court ("SJC") and the Massachusetts Appeals Court (the "Appeals Court") issued two decisions broadly expanding the breadth of the Massachusetts Wage Act (the "Wage Act")...more

Out-of-State Workers May Sue under Massachusetts Wage Act

Late last month, the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court held in Taylor v. Eastern Connection Operating, Inc. that out-of-state plaintiffs may bring suit under the Massachusetts independent contractor statute where the...more

Managers of LLCs Can be Personally Liable Under the Massachusetts Wage Act

In a June 13, 2013 decision, the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court clarified that managers of Limited Liability Companies (LLCs) can be individually liable for violations of the Massachusetts Weekly Payment of Wages Act,...more

Recent Decision by Massachusetts’ Highest Court Removes Barriers to Wage Claims

This week, the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court (SJC) issued a decision that makes it easier to bring lawsuits under the Massachusetts Wage Act. In Depianti v. Jan-Pro Franchising International, Inc., the SJC held that a...more

MA Highest Court Decides that Managers at LLCs Can Be Individually Liable For Wage Act Violations

Yesterday, the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court held that managers of limited liability companies can be individually liable under the Massachusetts Wage Act for unpaid wages due to employees. Historically, the Wage Act...more

Massachusetts Appeals Court Takes Expansive View of Retaliation Under the Wage Act

In Fraelick v. PerkettPR, Inc., the Massachusetts Appeals Court recently held that an employee had a claim for retaliation under the Massachusetts Wage Act, despite that her underlying complaint was not about wages. In that...more

Beware of Choice of Law When Drafting Independent Contractor Agreements

As we have previously posted in Choice of Law in a Contract Can Be Critical, Ensuring Your Dispute Is Resolved in the Forum You Want Is Not Always Easy, and Selection of Forum Other Than Massachusetts May Not Avoid Wage Act...more

Gratuitous Payments Cannot Be Re-Cast as Accrued Vacation Pay Required by Massachusetts Wage Act

A favorite saying of my mentor and colleague in the Labor and Employment Group here at Burns & Levinson is “no good deed goes unpunished.” Over my years of practice, I have found that this phrase oft comes to mind when an...more

Recent Decisions Illustrate Strict Interpretation of Massachusetts Wage Act

Two recent decisions from Massachusetts courts again highlight the strict requirements of the Massachusetts Wage Act, which details how and when employees must be paid. The cases address the treatment of sales commissions and...more

3 Keys to Drafting Commission Plans to Avoid Wage Act Violations

As I mentioned in some of my prior posts, the Massachusetts Weekly Payment of Wages Act (“Wage Act”) poses many challenges to employers due, in part, to the vagueness of its terms, the strict liability it imposes on employers...more

Massachusetts Wage Act Release Must Be Clear and Specific

The Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court recently addressed a significant issue to Massachusetts employers—whether general releases can bar employees from bringing Wage Act claims against their employers. Crocker v. Townsend...more

The Devil Is in the Details: General Releases from Employees That Fail to Specifically Refer to Mass. Wage Act Are Insufficient to...

In Crocker v. Townsend Oil Co. Inc., SJC-11059 (Dec. 17, 2012), the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court (SJC) held that a general release from an employee in favor of an employer that purports to release all possible...more

Massachusetts High Court Provides Helpful Guidance to Employers Regarding Damages and Releases Under Wage Act

On December 17, 2012, the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court issued a wide-ranging opinion that clarifies the limitations on damages that employees can seek under G.L. c. 149, §§ 148 and 150 ("Wage Act") when an employee...more

Massachusetts Court Issues Important Ruling on Releases of Wage Act Claims

The Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court (SJC) this week issued an important decision addressing whether agreements containing general releases are sufficient to bar claims brought by employees under the Massachusetts Wage...more

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