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Various Wage Questions- Massachusetts

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  • #16
    I just remembered one more thing and I am not sure if it makes a difference although I don't think it should.... the corporation that owns this chain of stores has its head office in Rhode Island... but I was assuming that their Massachusetts stores are still required to follow MA laws right?

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    • #17
      Okay I did a little bit of research and I am not sure if I understand correctly or not....

      First I went to a page in the blue laws and it said:

      M.G.L. Chapter 136, §6 contains exemptions from Blue Law restrictions for certain retail and non-retail businesses. If a business falls within one of these exemptions, the following restrictions do not apply. Otherwise, any retail establishment which operates on Sundays is subject to the following two restrictions:
      1. Time and One-Half Pay
      Retailers that employ more than seven (7) persons, including the owner, are required to compensate employees who work on Sundays, except for bona fide executive, administrative and professional employees, at a rate of pay not less than one and one-half times their regular rate.
      2. Voluntariness of Employment
      Regardless of the number of employees, retailers cannot require employees to work on Sunday, and an employee's refusal to work may not be grounds for discrimination, dismissal, discharge, reduction in hours, or any other penalty.

      So then I went to M.G.L. Chapter 136, §6 and it said:

      (51) The operation of a home video movie rental business.

      So does that mean that the rules stating employees must be paid time and one half for Sunday does NOT apply to people working in a movie rental store?

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      • #18
        If they are listed in Section 6, then they can do business on a Sunday, and they are not required to pay time-and-a-half for that period (unless of course, it is in excess of 40 hours).

        And yes, a "home video movie rental business" is one of the explicit exceptions. Sorry for the confusion. I hadn't noticed the fact that he was working in that exact type of establishment until you brought it up again in your last post.

        The Blue Laws are at http://www.mass.gov/dos/bluelaw/. The exceptions are at MGL c.136, sec.6.

        But, he would still have a claim for overtime, if he was working in excess of 40 hours per week and wasn't paid time-and-a-half for that extra work. And, if he asked for Christmas off, and was terminated because of that request, he might have a retaliation claim.

        As for whether or not he's entitled to a review and pay raise, he may have a contract claim against his employer on the handbook/contract theory, but it would be tough to win.

        Nevertheless, people make claims for similar complaints with the Attorney General, but they usually try and work it out with the employer first. In the end, if he can't work somewhere else, it's often better to keep a job with income, than to quit and fight a court case.
        This post is by Philip Gordon, a Massachusetts employment attorney (www.gordonllp.com).

        This post is NOT legal advice. It is for general/educational information purposes only. You should not rely on this post if you are making decisions, and it does not create an attorney-client relationship. This post may be considered "advertising" under the MA professional rules for attorneys.

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        • #19
          Darn, I was hoping for a different answer, thanks for the info anyway I really appreciate it.

          Lisa

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