Overtime Rights for Hotel Workers

Under Massachusetts law, individuals employed “in a hotel, motel, motor court or like establishment” are exempt from overtime, meaning that no matter what the worker does and no matter how many hours they work, they are not entitled to overtime under state law. However, companies here in Massachusetts (and in all other states) must also comply with federal law. The federal Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”) contains no exemption to overtime for hotel and motel workers, and such workers are entitled to overtime premium wages for all hours worked in excess of 40 in a week, provided that they or their employer is covered by the FLSA.

Not all businesses in the United States are covered by the federal FLSA. Some small, local businesses are outside the coverage of the federal law. What is the difference between those businesses that are covered by federal overtime law and those that are not? (In this article I am writing about hotels and motels, so I’ll use those terms, but this same rule applies for other businesses). First, when a hotel or motel has more than $500,000 in annual revenues and has at least two employees engaged in commerce, it is a so-called “enterprise” and all of its employees are entitled to overtime, unless otherwise exempt. If a hotel or motel has multiple has multiple locations, you must add together the revenues from each location to determine if the business as a whole sells more than $500,000 per year.

Even if the hotel or motel is very small and is not an “enterprise,” if an individual worker engages in interstate commerce or produces goods for interstate commerce, that individual will be entitled to overtime pay for work in excess of 40 per week.

If you are a hotel or motel worker not being paid overtime wages for overtime work, feel free to reach out to us, and we will evaluate your case at no charge.