Tips and the Minimum Wage

As of 2016, the Massachusetts minimum wage is $10.00/hour. See M.G.L. c. 151, s. 1. Employees who earn tips, however, can be paid a “service rate” of $2.63/hour so long as they earn at least $20 in tips each week. However, there is an important point. For all the hours that the employee works, he or she must make a total of at least the regular minimum wage, when tips and the service rate pay are combined. If the employee does not earn at least that much, the employer must supplement the amount out of its own pocket.

Failure to pay an employee the minimum wage for all hours worked renders the employer liable for treble damages, costs, and attorneys’ fees.

The statute of limitations for Massachusetts minimum wage cases is two years. Feel free to reach out to us for a free case review.


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