Few situations are more unfair, harmful, or more deserving of aggressively seeking justice than wage theft.
There are a number of laws addressing wage theft in Massachusetts. The first among these laws is the Massachusetts Wage Act, M.G. L. c. 149, § 148. It is also known as the “The Prompt Payment of Wages Statute.” The Massachusetts Misclassification Law G.L. c. 149, § 148B, and the Fair Labor Standards Act (a federal law) are also significant tools to combat wage theft.
The Prompt Payment of Wages Statute establishes the basic principle that wages must be paid within certain time frames, depending on the type of employee. Some employers stall their employees, and make them wait too long for money they have earned, or pay some, but not all wages. Not paying employees promptly and in full is a form of “wage theft.”
The full text of the the Prompt Payment of Wages Statute is available here. The first 169 words of § 148 (there are 1268 in total) are below:
- Every person having employees in his service shall pay weekly or bi-weekly each such employee the wages earned by him to within six days of the termination of the pay period during which the wages were earned if employed for five or six days in a calendar week, or to within seven days of the termination of the pay period during which the wages were earned if such employee is employed seven days in a calendar week, or in the case of an employee who has worked for a period of less than five days, hereinafter called a casual employee, shall, within seven days after the termination of such period, pay the wages earned by such casual employee during such period, but any employee leaving his employment shall be paid in full on the following regular pay day, and, in the absence of a regular pay day, on the following Saturday; and any employee discharged from such employment shall be paid in full on the day of his discharge…