If you fail to pay wages the fines are enormous. The economy is doing well, yet some companies are still struggling. If you are one of those companies, “pay attention to what we have to say.” As Human Resource Consultants, it is our job to advise business owners regarding payment of wages. When cash is short it is tempting to try to save money by delaying payment to employees or not paying terminated employees at all.
Paying employees is one of your top legal obligations!
Misclassification of employees may result in large fines, under Massachusetts’ wage and hour laws, employees may be entitled to triple damages, plus legal fees in cases where employers failed to pay overtime, commissions, vacation pay, and minimum wage, among other types of compensation. For example, if an employer failed to pay an employee $10,000 that he or she earned in sales commissions, the employee can receive an award of more than $30,000. We can guide you to avoid a lawsuit.
In Massachusetts, with few exceptions, employers are required to pay overtime pay at the rate of one and a half times your hourly rate if you work more than 40 hours in a week. Many employers will try to misclassify employees as “Managers” or as “Independent Contractors” in an attempt to avoid overtime pay and other benefits. This is an area we can help you with. To classify employees takes a bit more skill than “picking exempt of non-exempt.” Employee classification is established as part of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). The FLSA policy determines which employees (exempt vs. non-exempt) are subject to minimum wage and overtime laws. The company will observe any legal guidelines that apply to the classification of employees.
Failure to classify employees correctly may entitle employees to receive retroactive overtime pay. Don’t guess! You employee’s have rights. Avoid paying triple damages and call us for guidance.