Wage and Hour Laws in Massachusetts

Massachusetts rules on employee overtime, wage and hour law, and fair pay.

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What is the minimum wage in Massachusetts?

The minimum wage in Massachusetts is $9.00 per hour, as of January 1, 2015. The minimum wage is set to increase to $10.00 per hour on January 1, 2016, and to $11.00 per hour on January 1, 2017. 

Is the minimum wage different in Massachusetts for tipped employees?

The FLSA allows employers to pay a lower hourly minimum wage, as long as that wage plus the tips the employee earns adds up to at least the full minimum wage for each hour worked. If not, the employer has to make up the difference. In Massachusetts, employers must pay tipped employees at least $3.00 per hour in 2015. This means employers may take a tip credit of $6.00, as long as the employee's tips bring the total hourly wage up to $9.00.

(For more information, see Nolo’s article Tips, Tip Pooling, and Tip Credits.)

When am I entitled to earn overtime?

In Massachusetts, eligible employees must receive overtime if they work more than 40 hours in a week. Not every type of job is eligible for overtime, however. To learn more, see Nolo’s article Overtime Pay: Your Rights as an Employee and contact the Massachusetts Office of Labor and Workforce Development

Am I entitled to a lunch or rest break?

Yes. Employees in Massachusetts are entitled to a meal break of 30 minutes, if the workday is longer than six hours.

To learn more about wage and hour laws in Massachusetts, contact the state Office of Labor and Workforce Development

What are wage and hour laws?

Wage and hour laws set the basic standards for pay and time worked -- covering issues like minimum wage, tips, overtime, meal and rest breaks, what counts as time worked, when you must be paid, things your employer must pay for, and so on.

Where do wage and hour laws come from?

The federal wage and hour law is called the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). Most states also have their own wage and hour laws, and some local governments (like cities and counties) do, too. An employer who is subject to more than one law must follow the law that is most generous to the employee. For example, the federal minimum wage is currently $7.25 per hour, but employers in states that have set a higher minimum wage must pay the higher amount.

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Last updated on 01/01/2012.

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