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Massachusetts Salary Employee Required to work one weekend per month Massachusetts

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  • Massachusetts Salary Employee Required to work one weekend per month Massachusetts

    I have been reviewing several posts and chapter 136 of the Massachusetts labor laws and of course they are very industry specific and then there are the 3 sections of MA law with Blue Laws, One-Day-Off-in-Seven, and then Sunday work and then there is the whole exempt vs non-exempt. So there is a lot of overlap and wording gets convoluted (OK, to me anyway)

    I will make this as specific as possible to try and get some advice.

    I work for a Biotech organization - let;s just say it is one of the many biotech companies in MA, be it a Genzyme, Amgen, Biogen, etc. it falls within that category.
    Employees are all salary.
    This involves everyone from a research associate in a very non-managerial role to senior scientists.
    This is not a medical field.
    A company handbook on hours has never been issued
    We have no Human Resources at the moment.

    So here is my question. It has been put out that "Weekend rotations are required at least once per month and include working both Saturday and Sunday"
    This means that each employee will end up working 12 days in a row (Monday to the following Friday) at 8 hours a day.

    Now before anyone says it. Yes, I am fortunate to have a job and no I do not mind helping out and coming in on weekends and I work an average of 10 hours a day anyway. Then on the flip side many will say "I would quit". Yeah, I want to have no salary or health care.
    So just focusing on the question.....

    Can an employer in this situation say that it is "required" to perform a weekend rotation and work 12 consecutive days including a Sunday?

  • #2
    Yes. And I am in MA and have worked in that industry.

    I see other issues in your post, though, but I don't have time right at the moment to address them. I'll try to get back to you later today.
    The above answer, whatever it is, assumes that no legally binding and enforceable contract or CBA says otherwise. If it does, then the terms of the contract or CBA apply.

    Comment


    • #3
      Thank you sir.
      If that's how it is then that's how it is.
      It never hurts to check.

      I have a feeling about the other things & look forward to hearing it.

      Thanks again

      Comment


      • #4
        Okay, let's see what we can do with this.

        Although MA is one of the very few states that still has so-called "Blue Laws" on the books, there are so many exceptions to them that, with the exception of liquor stores and some other retailers, they are essentially meaningless. An employee who has a sincere and good faith religious belief that they are prohibited by the terms of their religion to work on Sunday must be excused from Sunday work; otherwise there is nothing illegal about asking employees to work weekends. Particularly rotating weekends. While MA has a limited one-day-of-rest-in-seven law, given my reading of it (and my history with the biotech industry) it does not apply here.

        MA is not one of the extremely few states that limits the number of hours an employee can work in a day/week/pay period. In no state are employers prohibited from requiring an employee to work Saturdays. Sundays are the only grey area.

        However.

        I think it is very unlikely that every employee qualifies to be exempt. Please note that exempt and salaried are not synonyms. Not all salaried employees are exempt; not all exempt employees are salaried. It is exempt and non-exempt that matters; not how you are paid.

        In most states, including MA, any employee, regardless of whether he is exempt or non-exempt, can be required to work as many hours as the employer wishes. MA does have certain exceptions, but as already indicated, they do not apply here. However, nothing any state can do can make Federal law go away, and Federal law says that if you are non-exempt (and non-exempt is the default) then you MUST be paid overtime if you work over 40 hours a week, EVEN IF you are paid on a salaried basis.

        You have not provided enough information to determine if you are exempt or non-exempt. While job title is not the determining factor (or even a factor), all of the job titles you have mentioned can, traditionally, be considered exempt. (If you are exempt the number of hours you work, and the days of the week you work on, are meaningless.) But it is rare indeed that EVERY employee of a business will qualify to be exempt. There could, conceivably, be exempt employees and salaried non-exempt employees, but the non-exempt employees would still have to be paid OT when they work more than 40 hours a week.
        The above answer, whatever it is, assumes that no legally binding and enforceable contract or CBA says otherwise. If it does, then the terms of the contract or CBA apply.

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by cbg View Post
          Okay, let's see what we can do with this.

          Although MA is one of the very few states that still has so-called "Blue Laws" on the books, there are so many exceptions to them that, with the exception of liquor stores and some other retailers, they are essentially meaningless. An employee who has a sincere and good faith religious belief that they are prohibited by the terms of their religion to work on Sunday must be excused from Sunday work; otherwise there is nothing illegal about asking employees to work weekends. Particularly rotating weekends. While MA has a limited one-day-of-rest-in-seven law, given my reading of it (and my history with the biotech industry) it does not apply here.

          MA is not one of the extremely few states that limits the number of hours an employee can work in a day/week/pay period. In no state are employers prohibited from requiring an employee to work Saturdays. Sundays are the only grey area.

          However.

          I think it is very unlikely that every employee qualifies to be exempt. Please note that exempt and salaried are not synonyms. Not all salaried employees are exempt; not all exempt employees are salaried. It is exempt and non-exempt that matters; not how you are paid.

          In most states, including MA, any employee, regardless of whether he is exempt or non-exempt, can be required to work as many hours as the employer wishes. MA does have certain exceptions, but as already indicated, they do not apply here. However, nothing any state can do can make Federal law go away, and Federal law says that if you are non-exempt (and non-exempt is the default) then you MUST be paid overtime if you work over 40 hours a week, EVEN IF you are paid on a salaried basis.

          You have not provided enough information to determine if you are exempt or non-exempt. While job title is not the determining factor (or even a factor), all of the job titles you have mentioned can, traditionally, be considered exempt. (If you are exempt the number of hours you work, and the days of the week you work on, are meaningless.) But it is rare indeed that EVERY employee of a business will qualify to be exempt. There could, conceivably, be exempt employees and salaried non-exempt employees, but the non-exempt employees would still have to be paid OT when they work more than 40 hours a week.

          That was a perfect answer and cleared it up very well.
          Yes, the biggest confusing factor was the grey area of Sundays. The second area of greyness of course is exempt vs. non-exempt and obviously since it is rotating weekends and maybe I do one a month, it is far from worth it to dig any further and determine this.

          Ah well, I just thought that I would check and clarify and it is appreciated.

          Comment


          • #6
            Great answer/post, cbg.
            Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around. Leo Buscaglia

            Live in peace with animals. Animals bring love to our hearts and warmth to our souls.

            Comment


            • #7
              Thank you.
              The above answer, whatever it is, assumes that no legally binding and enforceable contract or CBA says otherwise. If it does, then the terms of the contract or CBA apply.

              Comment


              • #8
                You're welcome.
                Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around. Leo Buscaglia

                Live in peace with animals. Animals bring love to our hearts and warmth to our souls.

                Comment

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