Massachusetts Labor Laws

Massachusetts Labor Law Breaks

For each 4-hour shift performed, employees are entitled to at least a 10-minute paid break from their employer, per Massachusetts labor rules. According to Massachusetts labor standards, the rest period must be given no later than the conclusion of the third hour of the employee’s shift. According to Massachusetts Labor Laws Breaks, rest periods can be used any way the employee sees fit, subject to any established business standards.

Massachusetts Sick Laws

Neither federal law nor laws for the state of Massachusetts require employers to pay employees for any days off for the reason of illness. Massachusetts also does not require that employers pay employees for any accumulated sick leave.

Employers may provide paid sick leave via a written contract or through benefits but are under no obligation to do so. However, if an employer provides these benefits in written format, he or she is required to provide them under the law. If union contracts may require that sick leave be paid, then employers are legally obligated to pay any and all sick leave for that employee.

Just like an employer can offer sick leave payment, he or she also has the right to terminate this benefit whenever he or she pleases. Employers are also not required to notify employees of this change but often do give a few day’s notices. Because some employees misuse paid sick leave when they are not sick, some businesses and companies have opted to implement paid time off instead of vacation time or sick leave. Underpaid time off employees may take leave for any reason, such as vacation, illness, or a mental health day.

Discrimination Laws

Some businesses and companies choose to not hire employees under the age of twenty-five. Despite appearing to be illegal, this process is fully legal under Massachusetts state law and federal law. The 1967 Age Discrimination in Employment Act disallows employers to discriminate against those over the age of forty and not those under twenty-five.

This act disallows layoffs, hiring, harassment, and promotional discrimination for those in that age bracket of forty or older. In some cases, it is in fact the law to only hire employees of certain ages. For instance, the law states that only those over the age of twenty-one are permitted to be police officers. Airline pilots are also strongly advised to retire before the age of sixty-five. Both of these cases are for safety reasons.

Some older employees in some companies or businesses are allowed through court systems to have preferred treatment. For instance, retirement can be offered at an earlier age with more benefits than if an employee waited until he or she was older to retire. The 1975 Age Discrimination Act disallows certain institutions from discriminating while hiring based on age. These institutions include hospitals, nursing homes, social service providers, daycare facilities, and others that are assisted by the federal government.

Maternity Leave

The Pregnancy Discrimination Act is a federal act that disallows employees from being discriminated against based on expectancy. The Family and Medical Leave Act is also a federal act that keeps new mothers safe from job termination while they care for their newborns. This act also is designed to allow adoptive parents the ability to bond with their new children, individuals the ability to care for elderly parents, hospitalization, care for childhood illnesses, and other related psychological or medical necessities.

Maternity leave is offered for a maximum of twelve weeks and must be taken in a continuous manner. Paternity leave is sometimes also provided.