As an employee in Massachusetts, you should know your rights and entitlements when it comes to overtime pay. One common misconception among salaried employees is that they are not entitled to overtime pay. This is not always true, depending on various factors that determine eligibility for overtime pay.
What is Overtime Pay?
Overtime pay is the additional compensation an employer pays to an employee for working beyond the standard workweek or workday. In Massachusetts, the standard workweek is 40 hours, and the standard workday is eight hours. Overtime pay is typically one and one-half times the employee’s regular pay rate.
The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) and Massachusetts Law
The FLSA is a federal law that governs overtime pay, among other employment-related matters. In Massachusetts, state law also protects employees by providing additional protections and benefits beyond those provided by federal law.
The Salary Basis Test: Under federal law, employees must meet certain criteria to be exempt from overtime pay. The most common exemption is the “white-collar” exemption, which includes executive, administrative, and professional employees. One of the criteria for this exemption is that the employee must be paid on a salary basis, meaning that the employee receives a fixed salary regardless of the number of hours worked. However, simply being paid a salary does not automatically exempt an employee from overtime pay. There are other criteria for the exemption to apply to a particular employee.
The Duties Test: The duties test is another criterion for the white-collar exemption. This test examines the nature of the employee’s job duties to determine if they are primarily executive, administrative, or professional in nature. If the employee’s job duties fail this test, the employee may be entitled to overtime pay regardless of whether they are paid a salary.
Massachusetts Law on Overtime Pay for Salaried Employees: In Massachusetts, state law provides additional protections for employees. Salaried employees in Massachusetts are entitled to overtime pay unless they meet the criteria for one of the exemptions. Massachusetts law also provides for a minimum wage that is higher than the federal minimum wage.
Massachusetts Labor Lawyers
If you are a salaried employee in Massachusetts and you have questions about your entitlement to overtime pay, it is important to speak with an experienced employment attorney. Contact us today to schedule a consultation and learn more about your rights and options under Massachusetts and federal law.