Ensuring Full Payment of Wages Earned

As the job market continues to tighten up, more and more employers and employees are becoming concerned about the reliability of their workplace. Employers attempt to cut costs and employees attempt to obtain more hours or seek opportunities to increase their income. This dynamic in the workplace can often lead to various disputes involving wages and what constitutes overtime hours and other wage and hour rights.

I am an experienced Boston wage and hour attorney who has represented both employees and employers in a wide variety of wage and hour disputes.

Massachusetts Wage and Hour Attorney

Aside from discrimination, retaliation, and wrongful termination claims, I have increasing represented employees in a wide range of wage and hour disputes. Massachusetts and federal law provide various statutory rights and powerful remedies for employees who are not timely paid their full wages. The Massachusetts Wage Act, G.L. c. 149, s. 148, provides for the recovery of treble damages and attorney’s fees from not only the employer but also its principal officers for an employer’s to pay all earned wages. This statute also applies to earned sales commissions. The statute calls for a detailed procedure to be followed before the employee is entitled to treble damages, including first filing a claim at the Massachusetts Attorney General’s Office.

Also, both the federal Fair Labor Standards Act and Massachusetts counterpart require payment to an employee at the rate of time and half the employee’s basis rate of pay for work performed over 40 hours in one week. While both overtime laws provide for various exemptions, the exemptions are not all the same under federal and state law and often employers fail to pay the overtime rate to employees it mistakenly believes are exempt. Massachusetts law provides for recovery of three times the wages owing plus counsel fees regardless of the good faith of the employer. Also, employers often fail to calculate correctly an employee’s basic rate of pay, so as to shortchange its employees when paying overtime.

In an attempt to get around the various laws providing protection to employees, employers often classify their workers as "independent contractors". However, whether someone is an "employee" under Massachusetts law is not dependent on how the employer classifies the worker. It depends on the facts and circumstances of the work relationship. If the worker is required to work at the employer’s place of employment, performs the same type of work as the employer’s core business, and exclusively works for the employer, then the worker will be considered an "employee", entitled to the rights of employees. The test in determining whether one is an employee, however, is highly fact specific. If you believe that your employer may have misclassified you as an "independent contractor", please contact me to discuss.

Contact a Boston, Massachusetts Lawyer Today

I offer competitive rates and, in pursuing employment and personal injury claims, typically represent clients on a contingency basis. If you believe you have an employment claim or are otherwise seeking legal representation, contact me for a initial consultation at 617-426-7400 or online.