Wages for Work Before and After Job Shifts

We have had several cases that fit this fact pattern: An employee is required to report for work, at either an employer’s place of business or a remote job site, and do preliminary tasks before going “on the clock”. That is illegal in Massachusetts. It is unlawful for an employer to require that employees be at a work site before they are on the clock and being paid.

The Code of Massachusetts Regulations defines working time as:

All time during which an employee is required to be on the employer’s premises or to be on duty, or to be at the prescribed work site, and any time worked before or beyond the end of the normal shift to complete the work.

This is a key regulation that clarifies the law in Massachusetts. If an employer violates this provision, it is possible to make a claim under the wage act (including possibly a class action) and be entitled to treble damages and attorneys’ fees for all unpaid time within the three years before the filing of the complaint. Feel free to get in touch if your employer has a policy of not paying for work before or after normal “shifts”.