Common Violations of the Massachusetts Wage Act

Here are some common violations of the Massachusetts Wage Act:

Off-the-Clock Work

  • Managers who say “get it done, but don’t put down overtime”;
  • People arriving early or staying late at work;
  • Donning and doffing–unpaid time at the beginning or end of work putting on or taking off uniforms and equipment;
  • Working through lunch;
  • Time spent on hand-held computing devices, work from home, etc.;
  • On-call time when you aren’t free to use your own time for your own purposes or can’t leave the job site;
  • Non-commuting travel time;
  • Improper rounding of time clock punches.

Misclassification Issues

  • Exempt from overtime;
  • Independent contractors.

Overtime Issues

  • Averaging overtime over two weeks;
  • Not including all forms of compensation in computing regular rate of pay;
  • Comp time issues: Improperly using it as a substitute for overtime for non-exempt or excessive build-up/lack of accountability.

Tip Issues

  • Illegal pooling/sharing arrangements (assistant managers cannot share in tips in Massachusetts);
  • Unlawful retention by employer.


  • Not keeping all required data and information;
  • No clear proof of actual hours worked (e.g., all timesheets say “8” hours per day).

Other Issues

  • Minimum wage violations;
  • Time cards not being consistent with payroll sheets;
  • Improper deductions from paychecks;
  • Deductions from pay for partial-day absences for salaried employees;
  • Non-payment of commissions or earned bonuses;
  • Timely payment upon termination; refusal to pay wages until company property is returned.

These are just some of the common violations of the wage and hour laws in Massachusetts. Feel free to call us at 617-338-9400 if you have been subject to any of the above unlawful policies.


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