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MASSACHUSETTS

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					       Human Resource
State Employment Law Summary




             MASSACHUSETTS
                                                      Table of Contents
                                                                                                                                                 Page

Appearance and Grooming.................................................................................................................... 1
   Uniforms ..................................................................................................................................... 1
Arrest and Conviction Records ............................................................................................................. 1
At-Will Employment ............................................................................................................................. 2
Breaks and Rest Periods ........................................................................................................................ 2
Child Labor ............................................................................................................................................ 2
   Federal Law ................................................................................................................................ 2
   Types of Work ............................................................................................................................ 3
     Minors Under 18 ..................................................................................................................... 3
     Minors Under 16 ..................................................................................................................... 3
     Minors Under 12 ..................................................................................................................... 4
   Hours of Work ............................................................................................................................ 4
     Minors 18 and Under .............................................................................................................. 4
     Minors 16 and Under .............................................................................................................. 4
     Minors 14 and Under .............................................................................................................. 4
   Range of Hours ........................................................................................................................... 5
   Permits and Postings ................................................................................................................... 5
COBRA ................................................................................................................................................. 5
   Insurance Continuation ............................................................................................................... 5
Day of Rest ............................................................................................................................................ 6
     Sunday Work Without a Day Off ........................................................................................... 6
     Posting of Sunday Workers Required ..................................................................................... 6
Employee Conduct and Work Rules ..................................................................................................... 6
   Guns in the Workplace................................................................................................................ 6
Equal Employment Opportunity and Equal Pay ................................................................................... 6
Family and Medical Leave (FMLA) ..................................................................................................... 7
   Maternity Leave .......................................................................................................................... 7
   School Activities and Medical Leave ......................................................................................... 7
Files and Access .................................................................................................................................... 8
   Employee Review of Files .......................................................................................................... 8
   Copies ......................................................................................................................................... 8
   Personnel Records ....................................................................................................................... 9
   Wage Records ............................................................................................................................. 9
Hiring Procedures .................................................................................................................................. 9
   Credit and Investigative Checks ................................................................................................. 9
   New Hire and Rehire Reporting Requirements ........................................................................ 10
   Mandatory Background Checks ................................................................................................ 10
   Criminal Records ...................................................................................................................... 10
     Application Statement ........................................................................................................... 10
     Anti-Discrimination .............................................................................................................. 11
   Application Provision for Volunteer Work Experience............................................................ 11
   Labor Union Membership ......................................................................................................... 11
   Applicants with Income Withholding Orders For Support ....................................................... 11
  Health Insurance Status............................................................................................................. 11
Holidays ............................................................................................................................................... 11
  Work on Holidays Limited ....................................................................................................... 11
Jury, Witness, and Voting Leave......................................................................................................... 12
  Jury Leave ................................................................................................................................. 12
  Victim or Witness Leave .......................................................................................................... 12
  Voting Leave ............................................................................................................................. 12
      Employers’ Prohibited Actions to Influence Voting ............................................................ 12
Labor-Management Relations ............................................................................................................. 12
Layoff and Reduction in Force............................................................................................................ 13
Medical Testing and Examinations ..................................................................................................... 14
  Drug Testing ............................................................................................................................. 14
  Medical Examinations .............................................................................................................. 14
      Employer Payment Required ................................................................................................ 14
      Physical Examination Reports .............................................................................................. 14
  Genetic Testing ......................................................................................................................... 14
  HIV and AIDS Testing ............................................................................................................. 14
Military Leave ..................................................................................................................................... 15
Noncompetition Agreements............................................................................................................... 15
Overtime .............................................................................................................................................. 16
Political Activities ............................................................................................................................... 16
Polygraph/Lie Detector Tests .............................................................................................................. 16
Privacy ................................................................................................................................................. 16
Sick Leave ........................................................................................................................................... 16
Smoking ............................................................................................................................................... 17
Termination Procedures....................................................................................................................... 17
  Paychecks .................................................................................................................................. 17
      Employee Terminated ........................................................................................................... 17
      Employee Quits ..................................................................................................................... 17
  Advance Notice of Termination................................................................................................ 17
Unemployment Compensation ............................................................................................................ 17
Vacations ............................................................................................................................................. 17
Volunteer Firefighting ......................................................................................................................... 18
Wages and Hours................................................................................................................................. 18
  Paydays ..................................................................................................................................... 18
  Minimum Wage ........................................................................................................................ 18
  Working Without Pay Restricted .............................................................................................. 19
  Withholding or Docking Pay .................................................................................................... 19
  Garnishment .............................................................................................................................. 19
      Child Support Orders ............................................................................................................ 19
  Direct Deposit ........................................................................................................................... 19
  Call In and Waiting Time ......................................................................................................... 20
  Travel Time ............................................................................................................................... 20
  Living Wage.............................................................................................................................. 20
Worker's Compensation ...................................................................................................................... 20
Pre-Employment Inquiry Guide .......................................................................................................... 20
Required Posters .................................................................................................................................. 21
  Required Federal Posters .......................................................................................................... 21
  Required Massachusetts Posters and Contacts ......................................................................... 21
______________
                           STATE LAW SUMMARY


Appearance and Grooming


  Uniforms
  Massachusetts has enacted no law requiring employers to pay for employee uniforms.
  However, employers may not deduct from the employee‟s regular hourly rate for uniforms.

Arrest and Conviction Records


  Massachusetts employers must include the following statement on their employment
  applications if they are seeking information about prior arrests or convictions of the
  applicant: "an applicant for employment with a sealed record on file with the commissioner
  of probation may answer `no record' with respect to an inquiry herein relative to prior arrests,
  criminal court appearances or convictions. An applicant for employment with a sealed record
  on file with the commissioner of probation may answer `no record' to an inquiry herein
  relative to prior arrests or criminal court appearances. In addition, any applicant for
  employment may answer `no record' with respect to any inquiry relative to prior arrests, court
  appearances and adjudications in all cases of delinquency or as a child in need of services
  which did not result in a complaint transferred to the superior court for criminal prosecution."

  In addition, it is unlawful for employers to request or use any information regarding:
  Person's arrest for which no conviction resulted; a person's first conviction for certain
  misdemeanors (e.g., drunkenness, simple assault, speeding, minor traffic violations, or
  disturbing the peace); or any misdemeanor conviction where the date of conviction or
  completion of any incarceration period, whichever is later, occurred five or more years prior
  to the date of the application for employment, unless the person has been convicted of any
  offense in the five years immediately preceding the date of application.

  Caution: Private employers considering using arrest or conviction records should do so with
  caution, even in states that allow the use of arrest or conviction records for employment
  purposes. An arrest might never result in a criminal guilty plea or conviction and it is always
  possible that a person has been arrested for something he or she did not do. Moreover, the
  federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has stated that use of conviction records
  might be discriminatory given that, according to the EEOC, minorities are often more likely
  to have such a record. The EEOC cautions that employers should only inquire about felony
  convictions, should state that a criminal record is not an automatic bar to employment and
  should ensure that there is a legitimate business reason for requesting such information.
  Employers should consult with their attorneys for more information and guidance on this
  issue.
At-Will Employment


  Massachusetts law provides that, unless shown otherwise, an employment relationship is an
  at-will relationship and can be terminated without cause. At-will status can be modified by
  oral or written statements. An agreement on a yearly salary can indicate the parties' intent
  that the employment relationship is for at least one year, provided that intent is supported by
  other evidence. Adequate contract disclaimers and at-will statements in documents given to
  employees (handbooks, policies, etc.) can minimize the risk that such documents may be
  alleged to have created express or implied employment contracts. Massachusetts law also
  recognizes that discharges may occur in violation of public policy. This type of claim is
  typically one brought by a whistleblower or some other person asserting a legally protected
  right or by a person who has refused to commit an illegal act or who has reported one. These
  include claims based on statutes (e.g., you cannot discharge, refuse to hire or in any other
  manner discriminate against someone for exercising a right under Massachusetts' workers'
  compensation laws), constitutional provisions or judicial determinations.

Breaks and Rest Periods


  Massachusetts employers cannot require their employees to work more than six hours
  without a 30 minute meal break. This law, however, is inapplicable to iron or glass works,
  paper mills, letter press establishments, or print bleaching or dyeing works.

Child Labor


  Federal Law
  Minors may be limited in the hours they work and may not be employed in occupations
  considered hazardous by federal law or by the U.S. Department of Labor‟s rules and
  regulations. When school is in session, federal law requires work of minors age 14 and 15 to
  be limited to three (3) hours per day and eighteen (18) hours per week. When school is not in
  session, minors age 14 and 15 may work up to eight (8) hours per day and forty (40) hours
  per week between 7:00 a.m. and 7:00 p.m. (or 9:00 p.m. June 1 through Labor Day). Federal
  law does not limit work hours for minors age 16 and 17, regardless of whether or not school
  is in session. Except in limited circumstances, employers are generally prohibited from
  hiring minors under age 14. In addition to these federal restrictions, the following provisions
  address employment of minors in Massachusetts. Additional Massachusetts provisions
  regulate both the type and hours of work in which minors can engage. Note that the stricter
  law, the one that most benefits employees, prevails.
Types of Work
   Minors Under 18

   Minors age under 18 generally may not work, without an age certificate, in a factory,
   work shop, manufacturing, mechanical, or mercantile establishment, or in any
   barbershop, shoe shine stand, or establishment, pool or billiard room, bowling alley,
   building and repair, or by express or transportation company, except for students in
   cooperative courses. Such minors may not work without an employment permit in any
   gainful occupation during school hours unless the school committee of the city, town, or
   regional school district permits the minor who is attending school to work as part of a
   cooperative work study program operated by the school and approved by the
   Massachusetts Department of Education.

   Additionally, minors under age 18 generally may not work in blast furnaces, oiling or
   cleaning hazardous machinery in motion, at a switch or gates tending, or track repairing;
   or as a brakeman, fire fighter, engineer, motorman, or conductor on a railroad; in
   explosive works, or in the manufacture of phosphorus matches; in alcoholic beverages, or
   in parts of hotels, theaters, concert halls, amusement places, and other establishments
   where such liquor is sold; in the operation or management of any type of elevator other
   than a self-service elevator, or in the cleaning or repairing of any type of elevator. This
   law does not prohibit employment of minors in drug or retail food stores, nor in
   employment of minors to operate motor vehicles in operation on a farm. Minors 18 and
   under may not work about any saloon or bar room or be knowingly sent to any disorderly
   house, house of prostitution, or assignation, or other immoral place. Such minors may
   also not work in any trade, process, or occupation determined by the Massachusetts
   Attorney General to be dangerous or injurious to the health or morals of minors.

   Minors Under 16

   Generally, minors under 16 may not be employed without an employment permit in
   connection with any mercantile establishment, barbershop, shoe shine stand, stable (other
   than on a farm), garage, brick or lumber yard, telephone exchange, telegraph or
   messenger office, place of amusement, building construction or repair, radio station
   (except as talent), or in any trade, occupation, or branch of industry. However, minors
   between 14 and 16 may be employed without an employment permit in domestic service,
   agricultural service (except structural painting) and occupations requiring a street badge.
   Minors under age 16 may participate in theatrical performances where there are not more
   than two performances given in any one day and not more than eight performances are
   given in any one week, as long as the written consent of the Attorney General of
   Massachusetts is provided. Minors under age 15 may participate in fashion shows,
   provided that the child is accompanied by one of the child's parents.

   Additionally, minors under age 16 generally may not be employed in operating or
   assisting in operating circular band saws or ensilage cutters, picking machines; paper,
   lace or leather burnishing machines; job or cylinder printing presses operated other than
   by foot; stamping machines, whether in paper or leather manufacturing, or in washer and
   nut factories; metal or paper cutting and corner staying machines; steam boilers; rolling
   mill; washing, grinding, mixing or laundry machinery; power punches that were shears;
   calendar rolls; dangerous electrical apparatus or adjusting machine belts, or oiling or
   cleaning dangerous machinery, or work near such machinery while in motion; or in
   scaffolding, heavy building work; about tobacco; or in a tunnel, public bowling alley,
   pool, or billiard room; in a moving motor vehicle, or in a gasoline service establishment,
   provided that minors may be employed solely to dispense gasoline and oil and to provide
   courtesy service outside of service bay area.

   Minors Under 12

   Minors under age 12 may not be employed in the sale of magazines, periodicals, or any
   other articles of merchandise or in the trade of shoe shine or scavenger or any other trades
   in public place or street.

This summary is not intended to be all inclusive; there are specific age requirements for some
of the above categories and employers should check the Massachusetts General Laws for
specifics.

Hours of Work
   Minors 18 and Under

   Minors 18 and under may not work more than a nine hour day, 48 hours a week, six days
   per week, in any factory, workshop, manufacturing, mechanical, or mercantile
   establishment, telegraph or telephone exchange (including switchboard operators and
   private exchanges), express or transportation company, private club, office, letter shop,
   financial institution, laundry, hotel, manicuring or hair dressing establishment, motion
   picture or other theater or place of amusement, garage, or as an elevator operator or as a
   non-professional employee in any hospital, or any beauty shop, weight reducing shop, or
   similar establishment, or in domestic service in the employer's home. The nine hour day
   limitation may be exceeded by office workers, if they are permitted by the Massachusetts
   Attorney General, but they still may not exceed the forty-eight hour week. The 48 hour
   week limitation may be exceeded by the following: seasonal workers; fish processing;
   and non-professional employees in nursing or convalescent homes (actually, these
   employees may work more than nine hours per day, provided the hours do not exceed
   forty-eight in a week).

   Minors 16 and Under

   Minors 16 and under may not work more than an eight hour day, 48 hour, six-day week,
   in occupations where employment permits are required, including time spent in
   continuation schools where that is required.

   Minors 14 and Under

   Minors 14 and under may not work more than a four hour day, 24 hour week, on farms,
   except that minors related by blood or marriage to the owner or operator may work more.
 Range of Hours
 Regarding the range of hours of work, minors under age 18 may not work from 10:00 p.m. to
 6:00 a.m., except that they may work as regular service telephone exchange or telegraph
 operators until 11:00 p.m., and minors between 16 and 18 may work in restaurants and race
 tracks until 12:00 a.m. on Fridays and Saturdays and during school vacation periods except
 the last day of such vacation period. Minors under age 18 may not work from 10:00 p.m. to
 5:00 a.m. as messengers for telephone telegraph messenger company except to deliver
 newspaper messages. Minors age 16 and under may not work from 6:00 p.m. to 6:30 a.m. in
 any gainful occupation, except that minors 16 and under may work in non-profit hospitals
 where they are performing voluntary services, in theatrical performances with the Attorney
 General's permission, and as golf caddies during daylight hours. Minors 16 and under may
 not work from 7:00 p.m. to 6:30 a.m., except from July 1 through Labor Day, when evening
 hours can be extended to 9:00 p.m. for minors under age 16 in any occupation for which an
 employment permit is required. Minors age 12 and under may not work from 8:00 p.m. to
 6:00 a.m. or during hours when school is in session in the sale of magazines, periodicals, or
 other articles of merchandise, or as a shoe shine or scavenger in a street or public place.
 Minors age nine and under may not work from 8:00 p.m. to 6:00 a.m. in the sale of delivery
 of newspapers in any city or town.

 Permits and Postings
 At the beginning of the work week, Massachusetts employers of minors must post in a
 conspicuous place in every room where minors are employed a printed notice that states the
 number of hours work that is required of them on each day of the week, the total hours for
 the week, the hours of beginning and stopping work, and the hours when the time allowed for
 meals begins and ends. Minors must adhere to their work schedule, as stated in the printed
 notice, unless otherwise allowed by written consent of the Attorney General.

 Child labor law can be both challenging and confusing. Employers of minors should
 closely review federal and state child labor law differences and contact their attorneys
 or the Department of Labor to ensure they are in full compliance.

COBRA


 Insurance Continuation
 Many states have legislation requiring small employers (those not subject to COBRA) to
 provide insurance continuation if an employee becomes ineligible for group coverage (such
 as through a termination). Such provisions are complex and very technical. You may want
 to contact your attorney or insurance broker to determine if you are meeting all applicable
 federal and state requirements.
Day of Rest
  Massachusetts law names Sunday as a common day of rest, generally prohibiting employers
  from requiring employees to work on Sundays. Massachusetts law does contain several
  exceptions to the Sunday prohibitions. However, work on those days must be voluntary and
  paid at 1 1/2 times the regular rate with a few exceptions.

     Sunday Work Without a Day Off

     Massachusetts employers must provide employees with 24 consecutive hours of rest,
     including an unbroken period between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m., in each 7-day period, except in
     an emergency for employees in workshops, manufacturing, mechanical, or mercantile
     establishments. Employees who work on Sundays must be allowed 24 consecutive hours
     off in the following 6 days.

     Posting of Sunday Workers Required

     Massachusetts law mandates that certain employers that are allowed to operate on Sunday
     post in a conspicuous place on the premises a schedule containing a list of its employees
     who work on Sunday, and designating the day of rest for each. Employers may not allow
     any employee to work on the day of rest designated for the employee.

Employee Conduct and Work Rules


  Guns in the Workplace
  Workplace violence continues to be a concern for employers. Many organizations adopt
  policies (such as the one found in the HRN manual) banning guns and other weapons on
  company property. However state law differs widely regarding employees‟ weapons rights.
  You may want to contact the state employment agency or an attorney for further information
  regarding your specific policy and any possible liability that may result.

Equal Employment Opportunity and Equal Pay


  Similar to federal law, Massachusetts law prohibits private employers with 6 or more
  employees from discriminating on the basis of race, color, religious creed, sex, age (40 and
  over), national origin, and physical or mental handicap. Discrimination based on ancestry and
  sexual orientation are also prohibited. In addition, employers are not permitted to test for
  AIDS as a condition of employment and must obtain an individual's informed consent before
  testing, as well as maintain the confidentiality of the test results.

  Gender discrimination, including harassment, is also prohibited. Massachusetts' Equal Pay
  and Maternity Benefits Law prohibits sex bias regarding the payment of wages for work of
  like or comparable character or work of like or comparable operations, unless the differential
  is based on seniority. Violations of the Equal Pay law can result in damages equal to the
  amount of the unpaid wages plus an equal amount in liquidated damages. The law also
  provides female employees up to eight weeks of maternity leave and the right to return to
  their jobs after taking maternity leave.

  Massachusetts employers are required to promote a workplace environment free of sexual
  harassment by adopting an anti-harassment policy and training and educating employees.
  Employers are required to make and keep records showing their compliance with the Fair
  Employment Practices Act and federal laws. The Age Discrimination law requires employers
  to keep employment records of employees' ages. Complaints of discrimination must be filed
  with the Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination within six months of the alleged
  act of discrimination and can be remedied with injunctive relief (e.g., cease and desist orders,
  required hiring, reinstatement, upgrading of employees), either with or without back pay, and
  attorney's fees and costs. Various notices must be posted.

  Caution: Some municipalities may have adopted city ordinances expanding EEO
  protections. Please check local laws for more details.

Family and Medical Leave (FMLA)


  Maternity Leave
  In addition to complying with the federal FMLA, some states impose additional
  requirements. Massachusetts employers must post a notice of maternity leave provisions
  wherever they employ women. Massachusetts law provides eligible female employees up to
  eight (8) weeks of paid or unpaid maternity leave for the purpose of giving birth, or adopting
  a child under the age of 18 or under the age of 23 if the child is mentally or physically
  disabled. State law provides that to be eligible, a female employee must have completed the
  initial probationary period set by the terms of her employment or, if there is no such
  probationary period, has been employed by the same employer for at least three (3)
  consecutive months as a full-time employee.

  The employee must give at least 2 weeks notice of anticipated dates of departure and return.
  The law also requires that the employee be restored to her previous or to a similar position,
  with the same status, pay, length of service credit, and seniority, and that her eligibility for
  employment benefits and rights not be affected.

  School Activities and Medical Leave
  Massachusetts law allows eligible employees to take up to 24 hours of leave per year (in
  addition to federally required FMLA leave) to participate in school activities and to attend
  medical appointments with their children and elderly relatives. An eligible employee may
  elect, or an employer may require the employee to use accrued vacation, sick, or personal
  leave for any of the leave provided. Employers are not required to provide paid leave in any
  situation in which it would normally not be provided. Employees must provide at least 7
  days‟ notice if the need for the leave is foreseeable. Employers may require that a request for
   leave be supported by a certification signed by the employee and stating the reason for the
   leave.

   Employees are eligible for small necessities leave if they have completed twelve (12) months
   of service prior to the commencement of leave, have worked at least 1,250 hours in the
   twelve (12) months prior to the leave, and have not taken twenty-four (24) hours of small
   necessities leave in the twelve (12) months prior to the commencement of the leave.

   Caution: Complying with the federal FMLA (and state law, if applicable) can be both
   challenging and confusing. You will likely want to contact your attorney, the Federal
   Department of Labor, or the Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination for further
   information and clarification.

Files and Access


   Employee Review of Files
   Access to personnel records must be provided by both public and private employers. A
   personnel record may not include information of a personal nature about a person other than
   the employee if disclosure of the information would constitute a clearly unwarranted invasion
   of the other person‟s privacy.

   Massachusetts employers must provide present and former employees with an opportunity to
   review their personnel records within five business days of a request. The review must take
   place at the place of employment and during normal business hours.

   Information contained in a personnel record may be removed upon mutual agreement of the
   employer and the employee for any reason. Further, if an employee disagrees with any
   information contained in a personnel record, removal or correction of such information may
   be mutually agreed upon by the employer and the employee. If the employer and the
   employee do not reach an agreement, the employee may submit a written statement
   explaining the employee‟s position, which must thereafter be contained in and become a part
   of the employee‟s personnel record. The employee‟s explanation must be included whenever
   said information is transmitted to a third party for as long as the original information remains
   part of the file. If an employer places in a personnel record any information which the
   employer knew or should have known to be false, then the employee has a remedy through
   the collective bargaining agreement, other personnel procedures, or judicial process to have
   such information expunged.

   Copies
   Employees may obtain copies of their personnel records upon submitting a written request to
   their employer. The employer may recover costs for copying from employee.
  Personnel Records
  Employers of at least twenty employees must retain complete personnel records, without
  deletions or expungement of information, from the date of employment of the employee until
  three years after termination. If an administrative or judicial proceeding is brought by an
  employee then the employer must retain the personnel records that are relevant to that
  proceeding until the disposition of the proceeding. Massachusetts employers with twenty or
  more employees who elect to have a written personnel policy regarding the terms and
  conditions of employment must continuously maintain those policies (including amendments
  to those policies) at the office where personnel matters are administered.

  Wage Records
  Massachusetts employers must maintain, for 2 years from the date of entry of record, a
  record of each employee's name, address, and occupation and the hours worked and wages
  paid to each employee. Employers must also keep true and accurate records of employees‟
  ages.

  Under the Fair Employment Practices Act, employers with six or more employees must keep
  records relating to race, color, and national origin, as necessary to show compliance with the
  Act.

  Caution: Various federal statutes also impose significant record retention requirements.
  Therefore, review of both federal and state requirements is important when establishing
  records procedures.

Hiring Procedures


  Credit and Investigative Checks

  No Massachusetts credit or investigative check requirements have been adopted that exceed
  those required by the federal Fair Credit Reporting Act and Consumer Credit Reform Act of
  1996. Under federal law, employers may not obtain a consumer report, (which includes
  checks on an employee's or applicant's credit standing, and which is obtained through a
  consumer reporting agency), unless a clear and conspicuous written disclosure has been
  made to the applicant or employee before the report is performed and the employer obtains
  written authorization from the applicant or employee. The disclosure must be made in a
  separate written document (not as part of a job application or other form) and must consist
  solely of the disclosure. Credit checks must be used for employment purposes only and may
  not be used discriminatorily in violation of any applicable federal or state law or regulation.
  Employers must also make written disclosures of investigative reports where personal
  information such as the applicant's or employee's character, reputation, etc is obtained
  through interviews with neighbors, friends, and others.

  Before an adverse employment action (such as refusal to hire) is taken based in whole or in
  part on information reported in a consumer or investigative report, the employer must inform
the applicant or employee, and provide a copy of the report and a summary of consumer
rights under the law. A post adverse action notice is also required under federal law. You
may want to consult your legal counsel for detailed information.

Caution: While not always required by law, it is generally a good practice to get releases
from applicants for any background checks undertaken. You may want to contact your
attorney for release requirements and related details.
New Hire and Rehire Reporting Requirements
In an effort to improve child support enforcement efforts, the Federal Personal Responsibility
and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996 requires employers to report their new
employees, rehires, or recalls to the state new hire registry. Employers must submit to the
Massachusetts Commissioner of Revenue within 14 days of hiring a report containing the
name, social security number, signature, and date of signing of the employee by providing a
copy of the employee‟s W-4 form. If the employer hires many employees, a list of all new
employees may be submitted on paper in accordance with regulations. Reports must also
include the employer‟s name, address, and employer identification number. Failure to
provide reports may result in a fine.

Mandatory Background Checks
Many states require mandatory background checks of applicants in certain highly sensitive
areas such as in teaching, childcare, healthcare and security positions. Such checks may
include criminal history and fingerprint checks, various reporting requirements, and requiring
job references. Contact your local state agency or attorney for further information.

Criminal Records
   Application Statement

   Massachusetts law requires that any application for employment used by an employer
   which seeks information concerning prior arrests or convictions of the applicant must
   include, in addition to any other required statements, the following statements:

   “An applicant for employment with a sealed record on file with the commissioner of
   probation may answer „no record‟ with respect to any inquiry herein relative to prior
   arrests, criminal court appearances or convictions. In addition, an applicant for
   employment may answer „no record‟ with respect to any inquiry relative to prior arrests,
   court appearances and adjudications in all cases of delinquency or as a child in need of
   services which did not result in a complaint transferred to the superior court for criminal
   prosecution.”

   “Have you ever been convicted of a felony?             Yes              No”

   “Within the past five (5) years, have you been convicted of, or completed a period of
   incarceration due to a conviction of, a misdemeanor (other than drunkenness, simple
   assault, speeding, minor traffic violations, affray, or disturbance of the peace)?
                Yes               No”

     Anti-Discrimination

     Employers may not refuse to hire, retain, transfer, bond, promote, or deny full
     employment privileges to a person on the basis of information about an arrest with no
     conviction, certain misdemeanor convictions (for example, a first conviction for
     drunkenness, simple assault, speeding, or a minor traffic violation), or a misdemeanor
     conviction that occurred or resulted in a jail term completed more than five (5) years
     before the application for employment. Employers also may not request, maintain, or use
     application forms to obtain such information. Nor may they discriminate against any
     person who refuses to provide such information.

  Application Provision for Volunteer Work Experience
  Massachusetts law mandates that every employment application that requires applicants to
  set forth their experience history shall contain a statement directing that the applicant may
  include in such history any verified work performed on a volunteer basis.

  Labor Union Membership
  Massachusetts employers and their agents may not coerce or compel an employee or
  applicant into a written or oral agreement not to join or become a member of a labor
  organization as a condition of the employee‟s or applicant‟s continuing or securing
  employment.

  Applicants with Income Withholding Orders For Support
  An employer may not refuse to hire any applicant because of an income withholding order
  for support.

  Health Insurance Status
  Massachusetts employers cannot require a job applicant to disclose their health insurance
  status, or that of the applicant's spouse, dependents or other family members. Employers also
  cannot discriminate against an applicant on the basis of the applicant's health insurance
  status. Employers can, however, require employees to verify their health insurance status.

Holidays


  No Massachusetts statute has been enacted requiring private employers to give employees
  paid holiday time off or to pay premium pay for time actually worked on holidays.

  Work on Holidays Limited
  Massachusetts employers may not require employees to work in mills or factories on any
  legal holiday except to perform work that (a) is absolutely necessary and (b) can lawfully be
  performed on Sunday. All retail stores may be open at any time on Sundays, Memorial Day,
  July 4, and Labor Day, provided, however, that persons employed on those days shall be
  compensated at time and one-half their regular rate of pay.

Jury, Witness, and Voting Leave


  Jury Leave
  Massachusetts employers may not discharge from or deprive of employment any employee
  because the employee (a) attends any court for jury service or (b) serves as a grand or
  traverse juror in any court. Moreover, to prevent financial hardship upon a juror,
  Massachusetts law requires employers to pay trial or grand jurors who are regularly
  employed (which includes part-time, temporary or casual employment) regular wages for
  their first three (3) days of jury service in state court, with a limited exception for proven
  extreme financial hardship upon the employer. Payment of exempt employees must be
  made in accordance with the federal Fair Labor Standards Act.

  Victim or Witness Leave
  Massachusetts law provides that employers may not discharge or penalize victims and
  witnesses in criminal actions because of their absence from employment for such service.
  Such employees must notify employers of their subpoena prior to appearing as witnesses.

  Voting Leave
  Massachusetts manufacturing, mechanical, or mercantile employers must allow employees
  who are entitled to vote at an election a leave for that purpose during the period of two (2)
  hours after the opening of the polls in the voting precinct in which employees are entitled to
  vote, if employees apply for leave of absence during such period. Massachusetts law does
  not require employers to pay employees for time off to vote.

     Employers’ Prohibited Actions to Influence Voting

     Massachusetts employers may not threaten, promise or otherwise attempt to influence the
     giving or withholding of a vote or a political contribution by any means including:
     discharging an employee; reducing an employee‟s wages; adversely affecting the terms
     and conditions of an employee‟s employment; giving an employee employment at higher
     wages; favorably affecting the terms and conditions of an employee‟s employment.

Labor-Management Relations
  Various labor relations laws allow and/or regulate the rights of employees to unionize,
  bargain collectively, file grievances, picket, strike, and wear union insignia and govern the
  resolution of labor disputes. Contact the Massachusetts Department of Labor and Workforce
  Development for more information. Note also that federal law governs, and in fact pre-empts,
  many aspects of this area of law.
Layoff and Reduction in Force


  Massachusetts employers closing facilities must promptly report to the Department of
  Employment and Training Commissioner that information that may be necessary to
  determine an employee's reemployment assistance benefits rights. Closings are defined as the
  permanent cessation or reduction of business at a facility resulting in the permanent
  separation of at least 90% of the facility's employees within six months prior to the closing
  date.

  Employers who utilize financing that is issued, insured, or subsidized by a quasi-public
  Massachusetts agency (the Massachusetts Industrial Finance Agency, the Community
  Development Finance Corporation, the Massachusetts Technology Development
  Corporation, the Government Land Bank, and the Massachusetts Product Development
  Corporation) must agree to accept and follow the following voluntary standards of corporate
  behavior: in the event of a plant closing or partial closing, the employer must make a good-
  faith effort to provide all affected employees with the maximum practicable combination of
  the following: the longest practicable notice, where notice is possible and appropriate; and
  maintenance of income and health insurance benefits.

  The employer must also help to reemploy affected employees. Though no minimum standard
  is specified, Massachusetts employers are expected to provide at least 90 days notice or
  equivalent benefits wherever possible. The quasi-public agency is responsible for specifying
  the form of the agreement.

  In Massachusetts, business combination transactions (such as mergers, consolidations, sales,
  leases, exchanges, or other business disposition) cannot result in the termination or
  impairment of labor contracts that cover Massachusetts employees and that were negotiated
  by a labor organization, collective bargaining agent or other representative. Recovery by an
  employee for a violation of this law is applicable to the merged, consolidated, or resulting
  corporation or other successor employer. Also, certain employees may be eligible for lump-
  sum payments as a result of such business combination transactions.

  Massachusetts employers operating factories, workshops, or manufacturing, mechanical, or
  mercantile establishments, or other establishments or industries with at least 12 employees
  must give notice to the Commissioner of the Department of Employment and Training, in the
  form prescribed by the Commissioner, whenever there is a commencement or a change of
  location of its operations.

  Caution: Massachusetts employers should also ensure that they are in compliance with the
  federal WARN Act.
Medical Testing and Examinations


  Drug Testing
  Massachusetts has no statutory provision dealing specifically with drug testing of employees.
  Most of the rules involved are derived from case law. Massachusetts state courts have
  applied the Massachusetts Civil Rights Act and privacy rights to the area of drug testing. The
  general rule is that a mandatory universal drug testing program involving urinalysis
  implemented by the employer does not constitute a threat, intimidation, or coercion under the
  MCRA if the employees are at-will and the program is universal and directed at all
  employees. As to whether such drug testing programs violate the right to privacy, courts
  consider the nature of the employer‟s business, the nature of the employee‟s duties and
  responsibilities, the accuracy of the testing, the reasonableness of the testing, and the privacy
  of the results.

  Medical Examinations
  In Massachusetts, an employer may condition employment on the results of a medical
  examination if the only purpose of the exam is to determine if employee may, with
  reasonable accommodation, perform the job. If employers require a physical examination of
  an employee, then they must provide the employees with a copy of the medical report
  following the examination.

     Employer Payment Required

     Massachusetts law requires employers that request or require a prospective or a present
     employee to undergo a medical examination by a physician designated by the employer,
     as a condition to securing or continuing in employment, to reimburse the employee or
     applicant for any required or requested medical expenses.

     Physical Examination Reports

     Massachusetts employers that require an employee to submit to a physical examination
     must, upon request, cause the employee to be furnished with a copy of the medical report
     after the examination.

  Genetic Testing
  Many states have implemented laws prohibiting genetic testing and/or discrimination on the
  basis of genetic conditions or carrier status. An employer planning to implement a genetic
  testing program may wish to contact an attorney or the Department of Labor for further
  information.

  HIV and AIDS Testing
  Massachusetts law prohibits AIDS testing by employers as a condition of employment,
  requires an individual's informed consent before testing, and protects the confidentiality of
  test results.
  Caution: In addition to state law, employers should also ensure that any testing undertaken
  conforms with federal law (e.g., the ADA and FMLA). Contact your attorney if you propose
  to undertake such testing.

Military Leave


  An employee who is a member of an organized unit of the armed forces reserves who, to
  receive military training with the United States for not more than 17 days in any calendar
  year, leaves an employment position, other than a temporary position, and who gives notice
  to the employer of the date of departure and return and of satisfactory completion of the
  training immediately thereafter, and who is still qualified to perform the duties of the
  position, must be restored to the previous, or a similar, position with the same status, pay and
  seniority. The employer has the discretion to either pay or not pay employees while they are
  on leave. Such a leave of absence from employment must not affect the employee's right to
  receive normal vacation, sick leave, bonus advancement or other advantages of their
  employment that would otherwise normally accrue to them. If an employer fails to comply
  with this law, the affected employee may bring an action for damages or apply to a court for
  injunctive relief.

  Caution: Military leave legislation is complicated and technical. In addition to any
  applicable state law requirements, employers should ensure that they are in compliance with
  federal laws.

Noncompetition Agreements
  No Massachusetts statute but rather Massachusetts court decisions govern this area of the
  law. Noncompetition agreements will be enforced to the extent that they are reasonably
  necessary to protect the legitimate business interests of the employer (such as the employer's
  relationships with its customers, confidential data, trade secrets, and goodwill).

  For a noncompetition agreement to be valid and enforceable, the agreement must have
  consideration (i.e., the compensation, monetary or otherwise, that is provided for entering
  into the agreement) flowing to the party agreeing not to compete. In addition, there must be a
  mutuality of obligation between the two parties. Finally, the agreement must be reasonably
  limited in geographic scope and time.

  A Massachusetts statute does, however, provide that physicians and nurses cannot be
  restricted, with regard to any geographic area or any period of time, from practicing medicine
  by any contract or agreement creating a partnership, employment, or any other professional
  relationship after the termination of the partnership, employment or relationship.
Overtime


   No Massachusetts statute has been enacted that exceeds federal requirements requiring
   overtime payment of one and one-half times regular pay after 40 hours worked/week.

Political Activities


   Massachusetts employers cannot, by threatening to discharge a person or reduce their wages,
   or by promising to pay them more, attempt to influence a voter to give or withhold their vote.
   Violations of this law are punished with imprisonment of not more than one year.

Polygraph/Lie Detector Tests
   Massachusetts employers cannot subject any employee or applicant to a lie detector test. Nor
   can employers request that employees or applicants take such a test. Employers also cannot
   discharge, refuse to hire, demote or otherwise discriminate against such a person for their
   assertion of their right not to take, or be requested to take, such a test. This prohibition
   against lie detector tests by employers applies to tests administered outside of Massachusetts
   for employment within Massachusetts. All applications for employment must contain the
   following language in clearly legible print: "It is unlawful in Massachusetts to require or
   administer a lie detector test as a condition of employment or continued employment. An
   employer who violates this law shall be subject to criminal penalties and civil liability."

   Caution: Polygraph legislation is complex. In addition to any applicable state law
   requirements, employers should ensure they are in compliance with federal law.

Privacy
   Massachusetts employees have a right against unreasonable, substantial or serious
   interference with their privacy. For example, an employer's drug testing policy that mandates
   urinalysis testing without regard to the nature of the employee's duties violates the
   employee's privacy under Massachusetts law.

Sick Leave


   No Massachusetts statute requires employers to provide paid sick leave or to pay for accrued
   paid sick leave at termination.

   Caution: If sick leave is provided, employers should ensure that it is provided on a non-
   discriminatory basis and in accordance with established policy and practice.
Smoking


  Though Massachusetts law contains no provisions regarding smoking in the workplace, it
  does prohibit smoking in public places. Local, municipal, and county laws and ordinances
  may further restrict smoking.

Termination Procedures


  Paychecks
     Employee Terminated

     Massachusetts employers must pay discharged employees in full on the day of the
     discharge. Employers must pay sales representatives whom they terminate commissions
     due at the time of termination of the contract within fourteen (14) days of the termination.
     They must pay commissions that become due after the termination of the contract within
     fourteen (14) days of the date they become due.

     Employee Quits

     Massachusetts employers must pay employees who quit in full on the next regular
     payday, and, in absence of a regular payday, on the following Saturday.

  Advance Notice of Termination
  Massachusetts manufacturing employers who require employees to forfeit part of their
  earned wages if they do not provide proper notice of their intent to terminate their
  employment are also liable to a like forfeiture, if, without similar notice, they discharge an
  employee.

Unemployment Compensation
  Extensive laws cover this area in Massachusetts. Contact the Massachusetts Department of
  Employment and Training for further information.

Vacations


  No Massachusetts law requires employers to offer paid vacation leave. However, if an
  employer offers paid vacation leave, the law requires payment of all accrued but unused
  leave upon termination. An employer may limit the amount of vacation time subject to
  accrual or adopt a “use it or lose it” approach to vacation time by requiring that leave be used
  by a certain date.
Volunteer Firefighting
   Massachusetts employers may not discharge or take any disciplinary action against any
   employee because the employee does not report for work at the beginning of his regular
   working hours because he is responding to an emergency in his capacity as a volunteer
   member of a fire department.

   However, Massachusetts law does not require employers to compensate the employee for any
   period of his normal working hours during which he does not report for work for this reason.
   The employee must inform his employer or immediate supervisor of the reasons for not
   reporting, and at an employer‟s request, must submit to the employer a statement signed by
   the chief of the fire department certifying the date and time the employee responded to and
   returned from the emergency. Employers who terminate or take disciplinary action against
   any volunteer firefighter because he responds to an emergency must immediately reinstate
   him to his former position without reduction of pay, seniority, or other benefits, and must pay
   him any lost pay or other benefits during any period for which the termination or disciplinary
   action was in effect.

Wages and Hours


   Paydays
   Massachusetts employers may pay weekly or bi-weekly, within six days of the end of the pay
   period, if employees are employed five or six days in the week, or within seven days of the
   end of the pay period if the employees are employed seven days in the week. Employees who
   have worked less than five days (called casual employees) shall be paid wages earned during
   such period within seven days after the termination of the period. Employees who are absent
   from work at the time fixed for payment of wages must be paid on demand thereafter.

   Employees who are engaged in bona fide executive, administrative, or professional capacities
   may be paid bi-weekly or semi-monthly, unless the employee elects to be paid monthly.
   Employers of one hundred or more employees must furnish payment before the end of
   working hours on the payday. Massachusetts employers may not deduct for tardiness beyond
   a proportional deduction in pay due to time actually lost. This law is applicable to all
   employees in factories, workshops, manufacturing, mechanical, and mercantile
   establishments and to mechanics, workers, and laborers. Deductions are also forbidden in
   manufacturing or mechanical establishments for the time when machinery is stopped unless
   the employees are allowed to leave the mill while machinery is being repaired.

   Minimum Wage
   In Massachusetts, the minimum wage is currently set at $6.75 per hour and automatically
   increases to 10 cents above the rate set in the FLSA if the federal minimum wage equals or
   exceeds the state minimum wage. Employers may obtain special permits to pay the following
   employees at a rate of not less than 80% of the minimum wage: minors who are attending
   secondary schools if the minor works part-time in a nonprofit establishment; persons enrolled
in a vocational or technical course of instruction that is not leading directly to a bachelor's
degree and who is employed part-time pursuant to a vocational or technical training program;
and students enrolled in or employed by schools, colleges, universities, or summer camps.

If an employer violates the Massachusetts minimum wage laws, then the aggrieved employee
can sue the employer and recover their costs and attorneys' fees, as well as three times the
proper wages that should have been paid, minus the amount actually paid. The employer may
also face fines up to $25,000 and 1 year in jail.

Working Without Pay Restricted
Massachusetts employers may not require or permit any person, as a condition of securing
employment, to work in any factory, workshop, manufacturing, mechanical, or mercantile
establishment without providing the person with monetary compensation.

Withholding or Docking Pay
Massachusetts employers generally may not withhold or “dock” employees‟ wages, unless
upon written request by the employee. Employers may, for example, deduct upon request for
union dues or obligations; deposits in, purchasing shares of, or repayment of loans from
federal or state credit unions; deposits in banking facilities; medical service subscriptions;
charities; insurance or annuity contributions; purchase of Government bonds; or stock
purchase plans. Any money (other than union dues) deducted from employee's wages shall
be paid over within seven (7) business days to the third party.

Garnishment
Employers must reserve one hundred twenty-five dollars ($125.00) of an employee's weekly
wages from attachment from garnishment, and such amount must be exempt from the
attachment. If the employer is paying an employee or a former employee a pension, which is
not otherwise exempt by law from attachment, then one hundred dollars ($100.00) must be
reserved and not paid from the amount payable, and must be exempt from attachment.

   Child Support Orders

   Massachusetts employers may not take disciplinary action against an employee or refuse
   to hire any applicant on the basis of a child support order.

Direct Deposit
Massachusetts employers may not require an employee to accept direct deposit service or to
establish an account for receipt of direct deposit with a financial institution as a condition of
employment. If an employee preauthorizes a direct deposit in writing, the employee must
have the choice of selecting the financial institution to which the deposit is made if the
chosen institution is technically capable to receive the deposit.
  Call In and Waiting Time
  In general, employees who report for work by permission or by request of an employer must
  be paid for three (3) hours of work, whether or not they perform any work. Some exceptions
  apply.

  Travel Time
  With some exceptions, employees required to travel from place to place after the beginning
  of and before the close of the workday must be paid at their regular rates for all travel time
  and must be reimbursed for all travel expenses.

  Living Wage
  A number of local governments (e.g. cities, towns, counties, school districts, etc.) have
  enacted laws known as “Living Wage” ordinances. These laws, although not always
  imposing the same types of requirements, typically mandate that any entity contracting or
  doing business with the local government or getting a tax abatement from the local
  government must pay its employees a set wage. The ordinances are typically called Living
  Wage ordinances because the set wage rate is typically much higher than the applicable
  minimum wage, thus better allowing the employees to live on the wage.

  Boston requires city contractors and businesses receiving aid to pay a living wage of not less
  than $10.54 per hour. Cambridge requires city contractors, businesses receiving aid, and
  municipal lease holders to pay a living wage of not less than $10.68 per hour. Somerville
  requires city contractors to pay a living wage of not less than $8.83 per hour.

  For more information about this rapidly developing area of law, including recent
  developments, see www.livingwage.com.

Worker's Compensation
  Extensive laws cover this area in Massachusetts. Contact the Massachusetts Department of
  Industrial Accidents for further information. See www.state.ma.us/dia/ for more information.



Pre-Employment Inquiry Guide
  Employers can obtain a copy of the pre-employment guide from:
  Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination
  One Ashburton Place, Room 601
  Boston, MA 02108
  (617) 727-3990
  http://www.state.ma.us/mcad/
Required Posters
  Listed below are the current listings for government agencies from which required posters
  can be obtained. Posters frequently can be obtained free of charge. Poster requirements may
  change from time to time, and employers should check to assure up to date compliance.

  Required Federal Posters

            Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) Minimum Wage
            Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA)
            Job Safety and Health Protection – Occupational Safety and Health
            Equal Employment Opportunity Act
            Migrant and Seasonal Agricultural Worker Protection Act (MSPA)
            Notice to Work with Disabilities (FLSA, SCA, and Walsh-Healey Act)
            Employee Polygraph Protection Act (EPPA)

  These posters can be accessed at the                    Department     of     Labor   website:
  http://www.dol.gov/osbp/sbrefa/poster/main.htm
  Required Massachusetts Posters and Contacts

             Minimum Wage                      Mass. Attorney General
             Small Necessities Leave Act       Fair Labor and Business Practices Division
                                                One Ashburton Place
                                                Boston, MA 02108-1698
                                                (617) 727-2200
                                                www.ago.state.ma.us

             Equal Opportunity Employment      Mass. Commission Against Discrimination
             Sexual Harassment                 One Ashburton Place, Rm. 601
             Parental Leave                    Boston, MA 02108-1518
                                                617-727-3990
                                                www.state.ma.us/mcad/


            Unemployment Compensation          Dept. of Labor & Workforce Development
             Benefits                           Division of Employment and Training
                                                Charles F. Hurley Building
                                                19 Staniford Street
                                                Boston, MA 02114
                                                617-626-5400
                                                www.detma.org/

             Notice To Employees (Workers’     Dept. of Industrial Accidents
              Compensation Insurance)           600 Washington St.
                                                Boston, MA 02111
                                     617-727-4900
                                     www.state.ma.us/dia/

   Are you a working teen? (Child   Mass. Dept. of Public Health
    Labor)                           250 Washington St.
                                     Boston, MA 02108-4619
                                     617-624-6000
                                     www.state.ma.us/dph/bhsre/ohsp/teens/laws.h
                                     tm

				
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