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Thread: Sunday Time and One Half pay Massachusetts

  1. #1
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    Default Sunday Time and One Half pay Massachusetts

    I work in retail as an Assistant Store Manager being paid hourly. Since I was hired there have been 8 or more employees at my store. I work every Sunday, but my fellow hourly paid workers and I are not paid Time and One Half pay on Sundays. I've looked at the Mass Blue laws site as well as the Attorney General's site. When I went to my boss with this he called the Attorney General's office and claims he was told that in order for a business to be obligated to pay Time and One Half pay on Sundays, 8 or more employees must work on any given day during the week. The way I have come to understand it is that a business must only employ at least 8 workers during the week and not that at least 8 employees work on the same day.

    I e-mailed the AG's office because I will obviously need it in writing if I go to my boss again but they refuse to reply with any info and ask that I call their hotline. Can someone please clarify this law for me. Also, If I am correct can somebody guide me to where I can get it in writing.

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    From the web site of the Massachusetts Attorney General

    any store that employs more than seven people, including the proprietor, on any day throughout the week, shall compensate all non-exempt employees time and one half for work performed on Sunday.


    http://www.ago.state.ma.us/sp.cfm?pageid=1113
    Last edited by ScottB; 11-29-2006 at 02:19 AM.
    Senior Professional in Human Resources and Certified Staffing Professional with over 30 years experience. Any advice provided is based upon experience and education, but does not constitute legal advice.

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    As I stated, I've been to the site. However, someone in the AG's office is saying that is not the law and that 8, not 7, employees must work, not just be employed, on a given day during the week. Everything else I read seems to contradict this though.

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    Quote Originally Posted by cmcatena View Post
    the AG's office is saying that is not the law and that 8, not 7, employees must work
    Right. What I quoted said "more than seven," which means eight or more.

    Here is the MGL http://www.mass.gov/legis/laws/mgl/136-6.htm

    Any store or shop which qualifies for exemption under this clause or under clause (25) or clause (27) and which employs more than a total of seven persons, including the proprietor, on Sunday or any day throughout the week, shall compensate all employees engaged in the work performed on Sunday pursuant to the provisions of this clause, or clause (25) or clause (27), excepting those bona fide executive or administrative or professional persons earning more than two hundred dollars a week, at a rate not less than one and one-half times the employee's regular rate. No employee engaged in work subject to the provisions of this clause shall be required to perform such work, and refusal to work for any retail establishment on Sunday shall not be grounds for discrimination, dismissal, discharge, reduction in hours, or any other penalty. The provisions of this paragraph shall be enforced by the office of the attorney general. The provisions of section one hundred and eighty A of chapter one hundred and forty-nine shall apply to any violation of this paragraph.

    Looks to me like the company must have at least eight folks working on at least one day during the week in order for anyone working on Sunday to get time and a half. It could have 20 employees, but so long as no more than seven of them work in any one day, the law does not apply.
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    And here's a suggestion; instead of demanding that the AG's office (which is understaffed and overworked, particularly now) respond in the way YOU want them to reply, take their suggestion and call the hotline. They are not obligated to reply in writing just because you want them to.

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    Here is the miscommunication.

    "Looks to me like the company must have at least eight folks working on at least one day during the week in order for anyone working on Sunday to get time and a half."

    My boss thinks this means that 8 people have to work on the same day. I interpret this as 8 people have to work at least one shift, but not necessarily concurrently.

    Also, cbg, the reason I need this in writing is that it is my word against my boss if I don't. If i simply call and find out I'm correct that does nothing.

    "And here's a suggestion; instead of demanding that the AG's office (which is understaffed and overworked, particularly now) respond in the way YOU want them to reply, take their suggestion and call the hotline. They are not obligated to reply in writing just because you want them to."

    I've read a lot of responses on here and some of you people take a severely negative tone with people just asking questions. If you don't want to respond then don't, you don't have to try and make yourself seem more intelligent than everyone else by being sarcastic or negative. People on here are just asking for help!

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    cmcatena, the reason that some people may have a negative tone in their post is because they deal with a lot of people who come here asking questions assuming they're going to get the answer the WANT. Obviously this doesn't always happen and the OP generally gets upset and takes it out on those trying to help.

    In any case, in your original post, you said nothing about shifts. You said about your boss "he was told that in order for a business to be obligated to pay Time and One Half pay on Sundays, 8 or more employees must work on any given day during the week." And you stated that you thought "it is that a business must only employ at least 8 workers during the week and not that at least 8 employees work on the same day." This is a HUGE difference and according to the AG, your employer is correct. Based on what you originally posted, the other posters answered your question and agreed with MA law.

    Now you're saying "My boss thinks this means that 8 people have to work on the same day. I interpret this as 8 people have to work at least one shift, but not necessarily concurrently." I'm afraid I don't know what you're trying to say here... If 8 people work at least one shift, wouldn't that be considered 8 people working on the same day? Maybe I'm just losing it after a long day... Please try to explain it to me because I don't understand...

    But please try to be patient and polite with those trying to help.
    Last edited by JulieBean; 11-29-2006 at 01:48 PM.

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    I understand why you need it in writing. It's not impossible that if you call the hotline and explain that someone might be willing to put it in writing for you or direct you to where you can find it on line.

    But they are not obligated to respond to an e-mail because it would be more convenient for you. They are in transition right now with Tom Reilly and his staff moving out and Martha Coakley and her staff moving in and they're understaffed to start with. You're going to get a lot further if you follow their directions instead of insisting that they follow yours.

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    Why not print out the information from the website? If your employer refuses to comply, you can file a claim for the unpaid wages.

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    Quote Originally Posted by cmcatena View Post
    My boss thinks this means that 8 people have to work on the same day. I interpret this as 8 people have to work at least one shift, but not necessarily concurrently.
    I think your boss is right and you are stretching the law to suit your own desires. Nice try, though.

    The law seems pretty clear to me.

    You won't like my answer, so seek legal counsel.
    Senior Professional in Human Resources and Certified Staffing Professional with over 30 years experience. Any advice provided is based upon experience and education, but does not constitute legal advice.

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