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MA Employment Law (Workplace/Coworkers) Questions and Answers

Welcome to our Massachusetts Employment Law Forum. Feel free to post questions, answers, or comments about hiring, firing, workplace policies, and other MA employment and labor law issues.  If you need professional legal advice, please use our Attorney Directory to find a MA employment attorney.

Have a question? Use our SEARCH feature, below, to find your answer.  For example, if you have a question about employee rights under MA law, simply enter one or two key words, such as: employee rights

Massachusetts Employment Law Basics

Before we get to the forum, we’d like to present some basic information about employment law in Massachusetts. As with some of the other topics covered in our various forums, employment law is a very broad subject that involves many topics, including wages, overtime, child labor laws, employee rights, and employment discrimination. As you read this synopsis, if you see terms you do not understand or that you would like more information about, just use our search tool to find more in-depth discussions.

The first broad area of labor and employment law, perhaps the one that is of interest to the greatest number of our readers, is employee rights regarding wages and time worked. If you use our search tool, you will find many questions and answers dealing with overtime pay, the minimum wage, tips, holiday pay, meal breaks, etc. Those who live and work in Massachusetts can also avail themselves of many government sponsored resources. There are numerous government websites dealing with employee rights, and the Attorney General has a Hotline that MA residents can call to get information about their rights on the job. (617-727-3465).

In other threads on this forum, readers will find detailed discussions on the difference between at-will employment and contract employment, and how those two broad categories of employment are treated differently under MA law. This is a key distinction because, with many exceptions (also discussed in the forum) employers are free to terminate at will employees for any legal and non-discriminatory reason. Contract and union employees, on the other hand, can only be terminated for certain, specified reasons.

Finally, readers will find a good deal of information about various types of employment discrimination. It is common for workers in Massachusetts to believe they have been treated unfairly, or even fired, because of their age, ethnicity, gender, or just because they did or refused to do something on the job. Believing you have been treated unfairly, however, and actually proving in a court that your employer violated the law are two very different things. Hopefully, readers will find sufficient information on these pages to help them assess their situation and determine whether they should contact an attorney.

Good luck in your search for legal information, and please let us know what you think about The Forum.

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TopicRepliesCreatedLast replysort icon
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0 5 weeks 2 days ago
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0 7 weeks 17 hours ago
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alternate job
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Benefits Notice/Letter
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Conditions of receiving vacation pay?
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Previous employer disclosing my pregnancy status falsely as reason I quit
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1 22 weeks 3 days ago
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uniform on to work
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1 11 weeks 6 days ago
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1 20 weeks 2 days ago
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interview question
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1 12 weeks 4 days ago
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Paying for required training and use of earned time
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1 12 weeks 1 day ago
by Flip64
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by Kevin M. Kinne
Denied appointment
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0 13 weeks 4 days ago
by DmitriyP
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Unemployment benefits
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by TerryM
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by seanleo28
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Cutting HOurs
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1 15 weeks 3 days ago
by starsmith33
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pay for employees when company closes due to snow storm on your scheduled workday
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by genny924
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Returning from layoff on benefits
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0 16 weeks 1 day ago
by Fran45
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0 16 weeks 4 days ago
by paradise09
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0 16 weeks 4 days ago
by jburton
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0 18 weeks 4 days ago
by danisbister@live.com
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0 18 weeks 5 days ago
by Mkc1024
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wrongful termination
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0 19 weeks 4 days ago
by munley1
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Reduction in hours for FTE
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0 19 weeks 6 days ago
by chloe
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employment law
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1 20 weeks 1 day ago
by tackettgreg0
19 weeks 6 days ago
by Kevin M. Kinne
Sick call
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0 20 weeks 2 days ago
by Ditzie
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holiday pay
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1 21 weeks 5 days ago
by Aspen emp
20 weeks 4 days ago
by BlitzGraybeard
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1 21 weeks 2 days ago
by EBvikings
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by Kevin M. Kinne
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1 21 weeks 6 days ago
by hardwork
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0 23 weeks 1 day ago
by drivingfaster
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1 29 weeks 3 days ago
by umakemekissu
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by Alan D. Meyerson
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0 23 weeks 3 days ago
by JAllen
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0 23 weeks 4 days ago
by Jbrown788
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Employee quits with a negative vacation balance
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0 23 weeks 6 days ago
by bbjornson55
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1 32 weeks 18 hours ago
by melissa1989
24 weeks 1 day ago
by Alan D. Meyerson
Colelcting UI with a severance
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0 24 weeks 2 days ago
by ykdmma
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workplace day schedule being changed
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0 24 weeks 3 days ago
by pmbell
n/a
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0 24 weeks 4 days ago
by xmaystarx
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Refused Unemployment
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0 25 weeks 1 day ago
by clairebear724
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Employer slander?
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0 26 weeks 2 days ago
by jazzman2
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flat rate pay questions
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1 29 weeks 11 hours ago
by jamesjanusz
26 weeks 4 days ago
by Alan D. Meyerson
PLEASE ANSWER - Can I be terminated for calling out sick with a doctors note? (Retail Holiday Work)
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1 26 weeks 5 days ago
by Sick with a note
26 weeks 4 days ago
by Alan D. Meyerson
Hourly rate for vacation
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0 27 weeks 3 days ago
by draughtash
n/a
Standard practice for lunch break
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0 28 weeks 2 days ago
by Kimberlylynn
n/a
days off from work after 42 hours in 5 days
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1 28 weeks 3 days ago
by joesmo
28 weeks 2 days ago
by Alan D. Meyerson
Salon owner cuts hours no notice
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0 28 weeks 4 days ago
by Devieluc
n/a
WORK WEEK
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0 28 weeks 4 days ago
by daniel mcgrath
n/a
Must MA employers give paid sick time?
I'm new to the job market after graduating from high school in MA. I'm surprised to find that many employers do not have any paid sick time for emplo...
3 1 year 18 weeks ago
by SueNT
28 weeks 4 days ago
by Alan D. Meyerson
Overtime Pay Rules
I work as a Data Analyst temp at the Dept of Health and Human Services. Recently our department has experienced an increase in the volume of work and ...
3 30 weeks 5 days ago
by JD02121
30 weeks 2 days ago
by Alan D. Meyerson
Tardiness
Is it legal for my employer to dock an hour pay for being 1 minute late? I get paid by hour. For example I'm scheduled for 7 am come in at 7:01 am. I ...
2 30 weeks 2 days ago
by anthony413
30 weeks 2 days ago
by Alan D. Meyerson
"Day pay" for salaried employee.
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0 30 weeks 2 days ago
by hbrady
n/a
performance evaluation & retroactive pay
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0 30 weeks 2 days ago
by close shave
n/a
Full time
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1 31 weeks 6 days ago
by Prettyunique90
31 weeks 6 days ago
by Alan D. Meyerson
My employer has no proper leave policy
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0 32 weeks 3 days ago
by simonos
n/a
Paid Training
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0 32 weeks 4 days ago
by maddy6427
n/a
Ma required mileage reimbursement
Are Ma employers required to reimburse mileage to all eligible employees at the same rate? ie $.45/mile. More specifically, would it be legal for emp...
0 33 weeks 3 days ago
by gateman7
n/a
Can employer underpay me if I'm late for work?
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2 33 weeks 3 days ago
by amanda21
33 weeks 3 days ago
by Rob Fortgang
Nanny Wage Laws
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0 33 weeks 4 days ago
by HELP123
n/a
Server wage deduction
Can a restaurant manager force a server to pay for a mistake they made? For instance, food that was rung into the computer system incorrectly or sent ...
1 34 weeks 5 hours ago
by Emphaff
33 weeks 6 days ago
by Alan D. Meyerson
Forced to come in early, need clarifaction.
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0 34 weeks 1 day ago
by Okktral
n/a
Transfer of significant distance
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0 35 weeks 2 days ago
by VermillionDe
n/a
Employee sent home midshift
If my boss sent me home in the middle of my shift and I don't have any vacation time/sick days left will I still get paid for the entire day?
1 35 weeks 5 days ago
by Craftypatty
35 weeks 4 days ago
by The Editor
Confirming employment
If a potential employer calls a previous employer will they be told if a person was terminated for cause or just given employment dates? Is there a la...
0 35 weeks 5 days ago
by Freegirl14
n/a
Laid Off with no Annual Review
I was laid off as June 20th due to apparent funding issues. During that time I was a union hourly employee. Due to union negotiations with the compa...
0 35 weeks 6 days ago
by myright
n/a
Paid Breaks
Under MA state Law, am I required to take an unpaid break for a shift under 6 hours ? under 5.5 hours or under 5 hours ????? I work at an airport a...
2 36 weeks 3 days ago
by galfriday66
36 weeks 3 days ago
by Rob Fortgang
MA freelancer law
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0 36 weeks 6 days ago
by Writer1
n/a
Collecting back overtime question
I recently was discharged from a job do to bullying by my Supervisor. After leaving my position, I realized I had worked so much overtime in the past...
2 37 weeks 4 days ago
by bostongirl33
37 weeks 3 days ago
by bostongirl33
Can I be fired for running for political office?
If I run for a local or state office that is not a full time job/commitment, can my employer fire me even thought I have stellar performance?
1 37 weeks 4 days ago
by bigsauce
37 weeks 3 days ago
by The Editor
Mandated flu vaccine at work
My employer is forcing us to get a flu vaccine. I am pregnant, have researched the chemicals in the flu vaccine and am NOT willing to put that into my...
1 38 weeks 2 days ago
by Smc0615
38 weeks 1 day ago
by The Editor
violation of smoke free work place
I work at a nursing home where patients are allowed to smoke outside with CNA lighting their cigaretes for them. It used to be that CNA's who smoke to...
1 38 weeks 3 days ago
by redwindsor
38 weeks 3 days ago
by The Editor
Limitations on use of vacation time in Massachusetts
I just went back to work after being on vacation for 1 week. I was told by my boss that I cannot take a week at a time anymore because she was too tir...
1 38 weeks 5 days ago
by 2twins2
38 weeks 4 days ago
by The Editor
Sole Proprietor Prevailing Wage
If a contractor who has won a public works project in MA uses sole proprietors (no employees) as subcontractors on said public works project, is the s...
1 38 weeks 4 days ago
by ConstantContract
38 weeks 4 days ago
by The Editor
Travel reimbursed by employer for remote employee
I work for a large international company based in MA. I am going to be moving overseas (EU) for personal reasons and working remotely from my home off...
1 38 weeks 6 days ago
by kristinawoessner
38 weeks 6 days ago
by The Editor
Dangerous Parking Situation @ Work
I work at a dealership and they are requiring us to park across the street in a lot then cross a busy 2 lane state highway to get to work each morning...
1 38 weeks 6 days ago
by redbull111
38 weeks 6 days ago
by The Editor
Workplace Closing so no severance package?
I was recently informed my company is moving the product line we make to an another existing facility. As my company no longer needs the plant site, t...
2 39 weeks 2 days ago
by employmentlaw101
38 weeks 6 days ago
by Kevin M. Kinne
Monetary review
Question: I have been employed at the company I work for, for two years. June 16th 2014 makes my second year. The policy of the company is to give you...
1 42 weeks 4 days ago
by shaeed Hall
39 weeks 10 hours ago
by Alan D. Meyerson
No pay after resigning
I quit my job August 1st, I should have recieved my pay check on the 8th, they told me they mailed it on the 6th, but I have yet to recieve anything T...
1 40 weeks 5 days ago
by cedrick
39 weeks 10 hours ago
by Alan D. Meyerson
husband suspended from work for a week with NO warnings
Two weeks ago my husband was suspended from work for 3 12 hour shifts (basically a week of work) with NO, zero, written or verbal warning ever given t...
1 39 weeks 1 day ago
by concerned wife
39 weeks 10 hours ago
by Alan D. Meyerson
promotion discrimination based on race or ethnicity in MA?
I have been working for this company as an assistant house manager in a group home for over seven years. When i got hired the guy who is my current bo...
1 39 weeks 6 days ago
by mankind
39 weeks 6 days ago
by The Editor

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