Effective January 1, Massachusetts laws have changed as follows:
- The minimum wage increased from $13.50 to $14.25 per hour.
- The minimum base wage for tipped employees who make more than $20 a month in tips increased to $6.15 per hour, provided that employees make at least $14.25 when actual tips and wages are combined.
- The premium pay rate (which applies to retailers) for hours worked on Sundays and certain holidays decreased to 1.1 times the employee’s regular rate.
- The maximum weekly Paid Family and Medical Leave benefit to covered workers is increasing from $850 to $1,084.31.
- Employer contribution rates to the Department of Family and Medical Leave Trust Fund have decreased. Employers with 25 or more covered individuals now need to pay only 0.68 percent of eligible employee wages (the prior rate was 0.75 percent), and employers with fewer than 25 covered individuals will pay 0.34 percent (the prior rate was 0.378 percent).
The minimum wage increases are implemented in accordance with legislation passed in June 2018 that set increases each year until the minimum wage reaches $15 in 2023.
As always, employers must display the Massachusetts Wage & Hour Laws poster published by the Massachusetts Office of the Attorney General in a prominent location for all employees to see, which notifies employees of the minimum wage and summarizes other Massachusetts wage and hour laws. The poster may also be posted electronically -- and should be for employees who work remotely -- but the electronic posting cannot replace the physical posters.
Similar to the minimum wage requirement, all Massachusetts employers must display a workplace poster prepared or approved by the Department of Family and Medical Leave that explains the benefits available under the PFML law. Additionally, employers must immediately provide current covered workers with written notice of the changes to the PFML described above. (New hires must receive written notice within 30 days of their start dates.) Employees must be given the opportunity to acknowledge receipt of the notice in writing. Employees who refuse to sign must be given the opportunity to sign a statement indicating refusal to sign the acknowledgement. The notices may be provided and signed by employees electronically.
In the event that an employee fails to acknowledge receipt, the Department will consider an employer to have fulfilled its notice obligation if it can establish that it provided each member of its then-current workforce (1) notice and (2) the opportunity to acknowledge or decline to acknowledge receipt in writing. Template notices can be found here.
For a printer-friendly copy, click here.