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Maryland Labor Laws Breaks

Maryland Labor Laws Breaks


Understanding the Maryland Labor Laws on Breaks 

Specifically with Maryland labor laws on breaks, there’s an act that provides a bit more: the Flexible Leave Act.

This Act under MD labor laws on breaks actually prohibits any employer in Maryland from any of these actions:

1. Discharge

2. Demotion

3. Suspension

4. Discipline

5. Discrimination

This was an Act under Maryland labor laws on breaks effective back in October 1 of 2008: Chapter 644 of the Maryland labor laws, to be exact.

That’s Obviously the Large Scale in Terms of Maryland Labor Laws on Breaks. What About Smaller?

By standard Maryland labor laws on breaks, employers must offer breaks to employees under the age of 18. Every five hours require a 30-minute break.

Keep in mind that this Maryland labor law on breaks only applies to employees under that age limit. Once an employer deals with employees over 18, the Maryland labor law on breaks actually doesn’t require employers to offer any breaks.

The Specifics of the Flexible Leave Act Under MD Labor Laws on Breaks

The important statement of Maryland labor law on breaks to keep in mind as far as breaks are concerned is that the Act authorizes all employees with employers with a workforce of at least 15 to utilize what’s called leave with pay specifically for an illness in the immediate family.

That “leave with pay” can be characterized as:

1. Sick Leave

2. Vacation Time

3. Compensatory Time

And in regard to “immediate family,” a child, spouse, or other parent would apply under these MD labor laws on breaks.

Questions Many May Have About the Act

1. Does the employee have a right to decide which type of “leave with pay” to utilize?

Yes. This is a Maryland labor law on breaks that any employee can utilize, giving the employee the right to some compensation due to the illness, whatever it may be.

2. What about “leave with pay” accrued before October 1, 2008?

The Act is retroactive. That simply means an employee can log hours from leave for an illness even before the Act was put into Maryland labor law on breaks. However….

3. Does the Act count paid leave collected before October 1, 2008?

It’s important to understand that this Act applies to employers already providing paid leave. So any absence from work prior to this date that’s already been paid under the company’s policy can’t be accrued for additional wages under the state Act.

4. Can an employer still require an employee to abide by certain company policies, such as “notice prior to sick leave”?

Most definitely. As long as the company policies, whatever they may be, don’t conflict with the actual MD labor laws on breaks, those policies are still in effect. If it just so happens that the company policy for paid leave is equal to or greater than the amount stipulated by the Act, the company’s policy stands firm and is honored by the MD labor laws on breaks.

How It Works With the Federal and Medical Leave Act

They’re similar in that they provide those benefits – but the Maryland Act additionally offers compensation with it. The Federal Act simply protects a worker from losing the job due to the leave.

You can say that both Acts work together to ensure the rights of the employee in the best possible fashion.


Maryland Employee Rights

Maryland Employee Rights


Understanding Your Maryland Employee Rights

Know that you do have various employee rights, like minimum wage, overtime, employee safety rights, and wrongful termination. And it’s important to know your Maryland employee rights.

Basic Various Employee Rights to Know About, Like Wrongful Termination and Employee Safety Rights

Part of the lawful hiring process won’t allow discrimination. The same goes for wrongful termination regarding Maryland employee rights.

The law values certain protected characteristics, which shouldn’t have any bearing on the hiring process, because it’s discrimination.

Employers by law must uphold employee safety rights. It’s important for employees to know their employee safety rights. Along with employee safety rights are the right to employee privacy and personnel files. Employee privacy and personnel files falls in line with First Amendment issues.

Employee privacy and personnel files also influence the hiring process. In particular, these aspects are unlawful to consider as part of the hiring process.

1. Marital Status

2. Family Plans

3. Drug/Alcohol Use

4. National Origin

That hiring process is of a personal nature, promoting discrimination, and disobeying the law of employee privacy and personnel files. The same for wrongful termination.

Various employee rights even regulate background checks. The background check has to be relevant to the job itself, or else discrimination ensues and employee privacy and personnel files are sacrificed again. For instance: no employer can base the decision on a background check for….

1. Criminal, Educational, Military and Medical Records

2. Bankruptcies

3. Workers’ Compensation

4. Credit History

Those kinds of decisions also apply to wrongful termination as well as discrimination.

What About Specific Maryland Employee Rights, Like Fair Pay and Equal Pay?

Maryland employee rights really don’t differ from the norm, but there are some aspects to keep in mind, such as the Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993.

Maryland employee rights will include unpaid time off from work for up to 12 weeks for these issues:

1. Birth/Infant Care

2. Adoption/Foster Care

3. Serious Employee Health

4. Spouse, Child or Parent Healthcare

As for minimum wage? Currently, we’re looking at $7.25 per hour for full-time work minimum wage. There’s talk of that amount for minimum wage being raised for next year as well.

As with the rest of the states, fair pay and equal pay is also a lawful requirement. The basis for fair pay and equal pay is that every worker is entitled to the same standard.

Drug tests for job applicants are also lawful. However, a worker is entitled to refuse drug tests for job applicants provided that the worker realizes the job is now an impossibility. By law, too, an employer isn’t required to turn down an employee based on positive drug tests for job applicants.

Understanding Your Various Employee Rights, Like Minimum Wage and Fair Pay and Equal Pay, and Drug Tests for Job Applicants

So you have an interview for a job? Understand the need for drug tests for job applicants. Pay close attention to those questions about fair pay and equal pay. Monitor your rights. When you think about it, that keeps the entire process, the entire job market, honest and loyal to the rule of law in the United States.


Woman Says Candy Company Fired Her for Orientation, Pregnancy

 Woman Says Candy Company Fired Her for Orientation, Pregnancy

After having a complicated pregnancy and revealing that she was a lesbian among her coworkers, a woman says that Mars Chocolate North America fired her based on her sexual orientation and being a pregnant woman.  The woman, Theresa Kwiecinski, is suing in New Jersey Superior Court after experiencing what she says was discriminatory conduct prohibited by the state's anti-discrimination laws protecting women and lesbians.

Kwiecinski, who worked in the external manufacturing division of Mars Chocolate as a commercial manager, had good performance reviews with no complaints at the time when a new supervisor was hired.  At around the same time a new supervisor began to supervise Kwiecinski, she began to suffer from pregnancy complications that disabled her and made it impossible for her to continue working in her regular capacity.

As part of her normal job duties, Kwiecinski needed to go on business travel trips from time to time.  However, according to the complaint, she had asked her supervisors to limit the amount of travel she would do during pregnancy, as she was pregnant through fertility treatments and wanted to do everything possible to minimize the risk of losing the pregnancy.

While her initial supervisor had been understanding about these requirements for travel restrictions, Kwiecinski alleges that her new supervisor responded with swift retaliation.  She was given a negative performance review without cause, according to the complaint, and when her pregnancy's risk escalated, she found herself hospitalized and unable to work.  Another negative performance review followed—according to the review, she had not done enough to “prepare” for her leave when she had to be hospitalized unexpectedly for weeks during her pregnancy.

As a result of these two negative performance reviews, which were negative due to circumstances Kwiecinski claims were unavoidable due to her complicated pregnancy, she was placed on a performance improvement plan.  In her workplace, these tended to be difficult or impossible to satisfy, and were considered a slow but sure way to fire an employee.  At the time when she was terminated in late 2011, her coworkers had recently learned that she had a lesbian partner when she introduced her partner and son to them at a conference in Florida.

This conference, which happened in March, coincided with a swift change in how Kwiecinski's coworkers treated her, according to the complaint.  Both sexual orientation and pregnancy are protected classes under New Jersey's employment laws.

Source: judiciary.state.nj.us

Nebraska Labor Laws Breaks

Nebraska Labor Laws Breaks


Quick Guide to Nebraska Labor Laws on Breaks 

Nebraska Labor Law: Breaks

Nebraska labor laws on breaks are few in number and do not state that an employer needs to give breaks to a person 16 years or older who is out of high school—except for certain exemptions for assembling plants, mechanical establishments, and workshops for a 30 minute lunch break. 

There are certain provisions for mothers that are breastfeeding under NE labor laws for breaks and under federal law as well, and there are federal laws for labor unions and those practicing in certain occupations.  Several NE labor laws on breaks are discussed in this article.  

You can find more information about Nebraska labor laws on breaks under the state’s legislature (mainly Chapter 48) or under the state’s Department of Labor (DOL).  You can also research the Fair Labor Standards Act to see how certain NE labor laws on breaks are controlled by federal law.  

Specific Nebraska Labor Law on Breaks for Breastfeeding

There is no specific Nebraska labor law on breaks for mothers that are breastfeeding, but employers are required to provide new mothers with breaks under federal law.  Additionally, several state laws address breastfeeding and indirectly apply to NE labor laws for breaks.  

For example, Bill #197 that was approved on March 10, 2011 states that a mother is allowed to breastfeed a child in any public or private location they are otherwise authorized to be.  So, this bill applies to Nebraska labor laws on breaks, and under federal law, the employer is required to provide a safe and clean location for expressing breast milk.  

Does Nebraska labor law on breaks require holidays, vacation, or sick time?

NE labor laws on breaks state that an employer is not entitled to provide the employee with vacation time, holidays, or even sick pay.  Many employers will provide employers with such benefits to improve the efficiency within the workplace, and an employee has the right to enter into bargaining agreements with an employer according to state law and Nebraska labor laws on breaks.  These NE labor laws for breaks do not apply to new parents on maternity or paternity leave. 

Child Labor and NE Labor Laws for Breaks

Nebraska labor law for breaks listed above do not necessarily apply to a minor under the age of 16.  Minors 16 or older operate under the same Nebraska labor laws as workers 18 or older, except that minors 16 or older may not work in certain hazardous professions.  

According to NE labor laws on breaks under the state’s DOL, the following conditions apply to minors between the age of 14 and 15: 

• may not work more than 8 hours a day, unless exempt from Nebraska labor laws on breaks because of working for family and/or in agriculture

• may not work more than 48 hours a week unless exempt because of Nebraska labor law for breaks

• may not work before 6:00 a.m. or after 10:00 p.m.

There are federal laws that overrule specific Nebraska labor law on breaks as well.  If a federal law and Nebraska labor law on breaks apply in the same situation, the more restrictive law must be observed by the employer.  

If an employer disregards NE labor laws on breaks for minors or any other person obligated to take breaks, there may heavy fines and penalties for such violations.  If a minor is engaged in certain professions like agriculture on a family farm, some Neberaska labor laws on breaks may not apply.  


Nebraska Employee Rights

Nebraska Employee Rights


Quick Guide to Nebraska Employee Rights

Nebraska Employee Rights

There are several public resources for Nebraska employee rights involving various employee rights in minimum wage, fair pay and equal pay, the hiring process, safety standards, and more.  The revised statutes provide a great reference, and the Department of Labor offers helpful information about the majority of employment regulations.

Nebraska Employee Rights in the Hiring Process

There are multiple federal laws and Nebraska employee rights that protect an applicant during the hiring process and most of these laws protect the applicant against discrimination, unlawful drug testing, and access to personal files. 

For example, §48-1906 states that drug testing results during the hiring process cannot be released to the public unless the applicant wishes to hand over such results.  There are also multiple federal laws and NE statutes that make an employer protect certain information about the employer during the hiring process.

Nebraska employee rights within the hiring process are controlled by the following federal laws and more: 

• Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (which protects Nebraska employee rights in the hiring process dealing with race, color, religion, sex, or national origin, and more) 

• Age Discrimination Act of 1963 (which protects Nebraska employee rights for those who are 40 years or older)

• Title I and Title V of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 and Sections 501 and 505 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (which protects a disabled person’s rights in federal, state, and local sectors)

• Title II of the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act of 2008 (which protects Nebraska employee rights against discrimination based on genetic information about the employee) 

Fair Pay and Equal Pay

There are also employee rights that cover various employee rights in minimum wage and fair pay and equal pay.  Some of these rights are listed below: 

The Fair Pay and Equal Pay Acts

These acts prohibit sex-based discrimination within the same job.  The Fair Pay and Equal Pay Acts also prohibit an employer from paying employees of equal experience and skill different wages based on sex or any categories under discrimination laws.  

New federal bills have reached the Senate as of June of 2012 for stricter standards within fair pay and equal pay, but as of now, the bill has been blocked.  You will find updated information on this website once the bill is eventually passed or thrown out.  

Various Employee Rights with Minimum Wage

The current minimum wage in Nebraska is $7.25 per hour.  Various employee rights in minimum wage laws allow the employee to negotiate their wage or make a claim against unfair wages, and employees receiving minimum wage operate under the same overtime rules as people with higher pay rates.  

Refer to the article on this website titled, “Quick Guide to Minimum Wage in NE” for more information on various employee rights in minimum wage laws. You can also refer to the state’s DOL about more information on various employee rights in minimum wage. 

If you believe your Nebraska employee rights have been violated, including various employee rights in minimum wage, fair pay and equal pay, the hiring process, or any other aspect of the workplace, you should never be afraid to receive proper compensation from the employer.  Nebraska employee rights under the hiring process, various employee rights under minimum wage laws, fair pay and equal pay, and others are protected under whistleblower laws if you decide to bring suit against an employer.


West Virginia Overtime Laws

West Virginia Overtime Laws


Quick Guide to WV Overtime Laws 

West Virginia Overtime Law

West Virginia overtime laws are provided under the state’s legislature, and most employees are covered by these WV overtime laws except for certain exceptions. 

Under §21-5C-3 of the state’s code on West Virginia overtime law, an employee must work at least 40 hours in a workweek before receiving one and one-half (1 ½) times the hourly wage.  Employers and employees may enter a bargaining agreement that overtime cannot be paid until after a certain amount of hours in a workday, and other sections of the WV overtime laws are discussed throughout this article as well. 

You will find information in this article about Nevada overtime law on overtime minimum wage, wage claims for violations of WV overtime laws, other state laws, and more.  

What is the minimum overtime wage under West Virginia overtime laws?

According to West Virginia overtime laws on minimum wage, the current overtime minimum wage is $10.88 for nonexempt employees under minimum wage laws.  If you have worked more than 40 hours a week or a certain amount of hours in a day—unless you’re in a certain profession—your employer is required to pay you overtime rates according to West Virginia overtime laws. 

If you believe your employer has violated WV overtime laws, you will find information about filing a claim at the end of this article.  

What Employees are Exempt from West Virginia Overtime Law for Overtime Wages?

Certain employers are exempt from paying full overtime rates under West Virginia overtime law and under the Fair Labor Standards Act, and these exemptions under federal law are listed below:

• executive, administrative, or professional employees

• outside sales employees

• certain skill computer professionals

• employees within certain seasonal amusement

• seamen employed on foreign vessels

• switchboard operators 

• employees engaged in fishing operations unless covered by West Virginia overtime laws

• newspaper deliverers 

• farms workers unless covered by West Virginia overtime law

• casual babysitters

• certain commissioned employees in retail establishments

• certain transportation employees

• certain railroad workers or air carrier employees

• certain broadcasters unless covered by West Virginia overtime laws and minimum wage laws

• domestic service workers, but may receive full overtime wages according to WV overtime laws if they live outside the home

If a person has not obtained their high school diploma, they may not be able to receive full overtime wages according to West Virginia overtime law.  Full-time students may not be able to receive full overtime wages under West Virginia overtime laws, and minors cannot receive overtime because West Virginia overtime law prohibits minors working more than 40 hours a week. 

If you believe an employer has paid you an unfair wages according to WV overtime laws, employees are first encouraged to try and settle the dispute with their employer.  You’ll want to make sure your employer has provided mandatory overtime in the bargaining agreement, and if the dispute is not resolved, refer to the following section.  

Filing a Wage Claim for Violation of West Virginia Overtime Law

If you believe your employer has violated West Virginia overtime laws, you should regard the link

The document listed above explains the entire wage claim process for wages and violations of WV overtime laws.


West Virginia Labor Laws Breaks

West Virginia Labor Laws Breaks


Detailed Guide to WV Labor Laws on Breaks

West Virginia Labor Laws: Breaks

West Virginia labor law for breaks is mainly found in Title 21 and 42 of the state’s revised code.  Both of these titles focusing on West Virginia labor laws for breaks are discussed within this article.  You can find more information about WV labor laws on breaks by searching the state’s revised code, and you can also visit the West Virginia Division of Labor for more information on other labor laws: 

Specific West Virginia Labor Law on Breaks and Meal Periods

West Virginia is one of the few states in the U.S. that defines and requires specific breaks.  Several different West Virginia labor laws on breaks are discussed below that address the majority of employees:

§21-3-10a West Virginia Labor Laws on Meal Breaks

This section of WV labor laws on breaks states that any employee who works six or more hours a day is required to have a meal break of at least 20 minutes.  Additionally, according to this specific West Virginia labor law on breaks and others, a meal period of 20 minutes or more may be unpaid.  

§42-5-2 West Virginia Labor Laws on Rest Periods

This specific section of WV labor laws on breaks indicates that any rest period from 5 to 20 minutes must be counted as hours worked.  This West Virginia labor law on breaks is meant to increase productivity within the workplace.  

21-6-7 Child Labor and West Virginia Labor Laws on Breaks

This specific West Virginia labor law for breaks provides guidelines for child labor.  The conditions within these WV labor laws for breaks do not apply to workers over the age of 16 because their employment is considered adult employment except for restrictions in certain hazardous trades.  

If a child is under the age of 16, these West Virginia labor laws on breaks declare that they employee is required to have a meal period of at least 30 minutes while working five or more hours continuously.  If an employer fails to recognize any of the West Virginia labor laws above, they can face serious penalties.  

WV Labor Laws on Breaks for Breastfeeding

There are no West Virginia labor laws on breaks for breastfeeding, and WV is the only state with no laws on breastfeeding in general.  However, some analysis of WV labor laws on breaks provides insight to break periods for new parents.  

According to §21-5D-4 of WV labor laws on breaks, an employer is required to give up to 12 weeks of unpaid family leave time in certain situations: 

• In the event of a birth of a son or daughter, this West Virginia labor law on breaks applies

• If an employee has recently adopted, these West Virginia labor laws on breaks apply

• If a daughter or son, parent, or dependant has a serious health condition, these WV labor laws on breaks apply

Again, an employer can face serious penalties for violating a West Virginia labor law on breaks.  If you believe your rights are being denied, you should contact the WV Division of Labor.  


Massachusetts Overtime Laws

Massachusetts Overtime Laws


What is Overtime Pay?

Overtime pay refers to additional compensation (derived from employment) to employees who work beyond a certain amount of hours within a given workweek or timeframe. Non-exempt employers in Massachusetts are required to adhere to not only federal regulations, but also the state’s overtime laws. 

Massachusetts overtime laws define how much overtime must be provided to employees who are entitled additional pay. Massachusetts overtime laws apply to employees who work beyond 40 hours in a given work week. Non-exempt employees—according to MA overtime laws– are entitled to overtime pay of 1.5 times their average hourly rate. According to Massachusetts overtime laws, this increased wage rate must be given to an employee for every worked over 40 in a single workweek. 

According to Massachusetts minimum wage of $8.00 per hour, the minimum amount any Massachusetts employee should—according to MA overtime laws–receive as overtime pay is $12.00 per hour. 

Some employees, based on MA overtime laws– are exempt from overtime pay. Because of these exemptions, some employees may be asked to work beyond 40 hours a week without receiving the 1.5 times pay that is customary with MA overtime law. The majority of these exempt positions—as declared by MA overtime laws– are specified in federal overtime law. For instance, the bulk of white collar jobs are exempt according to both MA overtime law and federal law. In addition, Massachusetts overtime laws create their own unique section of exempt overtime employers. 

Massachusetts overtime laws establish a specific overtime minimum for topped employees at 1.5 times the applicable minimum wage. Several occupations are exempt from MA overtime law, including salespeople, fishermen, apprentices, seasonal employees, nonprofit school employees, seamen, farm workers and motel, garage, hospital, retirement home and summer camp workers. In general, a Massachusetts overtime law declares that any employee already exempt from the state’s minimum wage laws will not be eligible for overtime payment. 

If you are eligible to receive payments under Massachusetts overtime laws, you should utilize a Massachusetts overtime calculator. This resource, which is an essential aspect of MA overtime law, is a tool that helps you calculate your weekly overtime pay. To use the calculator, enter your normal hourly wage and the weekly number of hours you worked for the given work week. When this information is entered, the calculator will provide you with your overtime pay. 

Massachusetts Overtime Laws: Unpaid Overtime in Massachusetts

If your employer fails to pay you overtime for which you are entitled to, there are several steps you can take to ensure that you are compensated for your extra hours worked. Before contacting your employer, you should ensure that your occupation is not exempt based on federal or Massachusetts overtime law. Once you affirm your eligibility, you should ask your employer why you were not compensated for your overtime. 

If you are sure that you are due overtime pay and you have failed to reach an agreement with your employer, you must contact the Massachusetts Department of Labor. The department of labor will provide you with an unpaid overtime claim form. (also available at their website)

You may contact the Massachusetts Department of Labor office at:

1 Ashburton Place

Boston, MA 02108

Tel. 617-626-7100


Massachusetts Employee Rights

Massachusetts Employee Rights


Massachusetts Employee Rights: Wage Laws

This section will talk about the state’s current minimum wage, hour laws, prevailing wage laws, and more:

Massachusetts Minimum Wage Rates:

The minimum wage in Massachusetts is currently $8.00 per hour. This wage is 75 cents more than the federal minimum wage ($7.25). Massachusetts minimum wage laws have remained unchanged since January 1st of 2008. 

Massachusetts minimum wage laws apply to all employees except those being trained or rehabilitated in educational, charitable or religious institutions; members of religious organizations; agricultural workers; professional service workers, and outside salespeople who do not report to or visit their office on a daily basis. 

Massachusetts employee right laws state that tipped workers must be paid a minimum of $2.63 per hour; however, if the tipped employee does not receive $8.00 per hour (tips included), the employer must pay the difference. The minimum hourly wages—according to Massachusetts employee rights—for agricultural workers is $1.60. 

Payment of Wages: 

An employer must pay their employees within six days of the end of the pay period where the wages were earned if the employee was working for five or six days during the pay period. If the worker was employed for seven days or less than three days, the individual must be paid no later than seven days from the conclusion of the pay period. 

Wage and Hour Laws for Employers:

An employer who chooses to provide paid vacations must treat said payments like any other wages under Massachusetts employee rights laws. Withholding vacation pay is the same as withholding regular wages and, as such, is deemed illegal. 

According to Massachusetts Employee Law, employers must provide an employee with up to two hours off to vote if their employee requests it. Employees do not have to be compensated for this time, but are allowed the two-hour absence after the opening of the polls. 

The Minimum Fair Wage Laws of Massachusetts do not require extra pay for holidays, night work or weekends; however, certain Massachusetts Blue Laws require a handful of retailers to pay premium for Sundays and certain holidays. 

Massachusetts employee rights do not distinguish between part-time or full-time employment; both types of employees are covered by Massachusetts employee rights. In general, a work schedule is a matter of agreement between a worker and their employer. For more information on this topic, please contact: https://www.mass.gov/ago/

The majority of employees—according to Massachusetts employee rights—must be compensated at least one and one-half times their regular hourly pay rate for hours worked in excess of 40 hours in a standard work week. Several employees, such as executives, professionals and the majority of seasonal workers, are not allowed to receive overtime pay. 

Wage Complaints: If you feel that your Massachusetts employee rights are being violated, you must file a complaint with the Office of the Attorney General’s Fair Labor and Business Practices Division. For phone numbers and addresses for all offices in the state, please visit www.mass.gov/ago. 

Massachusetts Employee Rights: Civil Rights, Harassment and Discrimination

Under federal and state law, it is illegal for any employer to discriminate on the basis of sex, race, disability, ethnicity, national origin, age, sexual orientation and/or religion when rendering employment decisions, including firing, hiring, pay, discipline and promotion. Pervasive harassment on any of these bases—and subsequent retaliation against employees who complain about said harassment—are also illegal. 

Massachusetts employee rights require employers with six or more employees to adopt policies against sexual harassment. The State’s Commission against Discrimination publishes “Sexual Harassment in the Workplace Guidelines” as well as sexual harassment policies and posters to and employers in constructing their own policy. 

Massachusetts Employee Rights: Hiring Process

According to Massachusetts employee rights, it is unlawful for an employer to make a record of, request, use an application form which requests, or discriminate against workers or applicants for employment who fails to provide information concerning:

1. MA Employee Rights: Detention, dispositions or arrests in which no convictions resulted

2. MA Employee Rights: First convictions for drunkenness, speeding, simple assaults, disturbance of the peace, affray, minor traffic violations, or

3. MA Employee Rights: Any misdemeanor convictions where the date of conviction or completion of incarceration, whichever comes later occurred five years or more before the date of application or request for information, unless the applicant is convicted of any offense within the five years preceding the date of application or request for information

MA employee rights place no restrictions on an employer’s ability to ask about felony convictions. Moreover, an employer may inquire about misdemeanor convictions subject to the limitations imposed above. 

If an employer wishes to screen an applicant’s criminal record—referred to as a Criminal offender Record Information report—must comply with the state’s criminal information and MA employee rights, specifically, those that deal with privacy laws. These MA employee rights require the employer to attain signed acknowledgment from the applicant before requesting the Criminal Offender Record information report. The employer must also provide the applicant with the ability to challenge the accuracy and relevancy of the information it contains. 

If an employer wishes to administer a drug test, it must have a set policy and make sure it is applied to every applicant. Prospective employees may be required to disclose the use of prescription drugs to the administrator running the test. This information —according to MA employee rights– must be kept confidential and only be used to determine if the applicant passed or failed the drug test. This information is not provided to the employer. According to Massachusetts employee rights, random drug testing of existing employees is allowed only with respect to employees in safety-sensitive provisions. 

All Massachusetts employers—according to MA employee rights– are required to verify that every new employee is either a citizen of the United States or authorized to work in the United States. All employees must complete the Employment Eligibility Verification Form (I-9) and produce documentation within three days following their hire date. Failure to file the I-9 may result in penalties and audits by the Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

All Massachusetts employers are not allowed—according to MA employee rights–to discriminate against their employees based on their immigration status. Thus, when an employee satisfies the employer that he or she is permitted to work in the United States, the employee’s immigration status may not be used in any other employment decision. 


Massachusetts Labor Laws Breaks

Massachusetts Labor Laws Breaks


What are the Massachusetts Labor Laws Breaks?

According to Massachusetts labor laws breaks, workers must be allowed a paid rest period—from their employer—of at least 10 minutes for each 4-hour shift worked. The rest period—according to Massachusetts labor laws breaks—must be provided no later than the end of the third hour of the worker’s shift. 

Are Workers allowed to take several short breaks instead of a 10-minute rest period?

Yes, according to Massachusetts Labor Laws breaks, a business may allow workers to take several “mini” breaks in each 4 hours of work time. If these shorter breaks exceed a total of 10 minutes, they will be substituted for a scheduled rest period. Examples of shorter rest periods include—according to Massachusetts Labor Laws Breaks—eating a snack, making personal phone calls, participating in personal conversations, smoke breaks and sitting idle if there is no work for a few minutes during a shift. 

What are Workers Allowed to do During Rest Periods?

Rest periods—according to Massachusetts Labor Laws Breaks—can be utilized however the worker chooses; however, they are subject to whatever policies the business has established. 

According to Massachusetts Labor Laws Breaks, can a Worker Smoke While on Their Rest Period?

Yes, according to Massachusetts labor laws breaks if the business permits smoking around the workplace. Employees may smoke during a rest period if their boss or employer permits them to step outside to smoke. Massachusetts labor laws breaks—and state law in general—prohibits smoking within 25 feet of a businesses’ entrance. That being said, the employer possesses the right to stop smoking on the job site or work area.

Can an Employer require Workers to stay at the workplace or site during Meal Times or Rest Periods?

According to Massachusetts labor laws breaks, the employer may require workers to stay on the workplace or site during the following times:

• MA labor laws breaks: Their meal period if the employer pays the worker during the meal period

• MA labor laws breaks: Their paid rest time

• MA labor laws breaks: Their meal period without providing compensation if the employee is completely relieved from duty for the entire meal period and will not be called back to work during the meal period

Is an Organization or Business providing rooms where employees can take rest periods or eat meals?

No, Massachusetts labor laws breaks do not require labor organizations to provide said rooms for meals or breaks.

Massachusetts Labor Laws Breaks: Meal Periods

When is a Worker Given a Meal Period?

Massachusetts labor law regarding breaks states that a meal is required for workers if an employee completes a 5 hour shift; if a 5-hour shift is completed, the worker must be given at least a 30-minute meal period. The worker—according to MA Labor Laws Breaks—must be at least two hours into the shift before the meal period can start. The meal period cannot start more than five hours once the shift starts. 

Must Employees Be Paid During Their Meal Periods?

According to Massachusetts labor laws breaks, a business is not mandated to pay for meal periods if the worker is free from any duties for the duration of the meal period. 

Workers must be paid during the meal period when:

• MA labor laws breaks: They are allowed or required to remain on duty

• MA labor laws breaks: They are called back to work during their meal period even though the worker is normally are not on call during the meal break 

• MA labor laws breaks: A worker must be paid—according to Massachusetts labor laws breaks—if the individual is required to be on-call at the business or worksite

• MA labor laws breaks: A worker must be paid—according to Massachusetts labor laws breaks—for meal time, if the worker is called back to duty during the meal period even though they often are not on call during the meal period