Overtime Laws in Massachusetts

By Luanne Kelchner
Massachusetts, the law, the payment, overtime
clock #4 image by Adam Borkowski from Fotolia.com

Overtime is compensation paid to an employee that exceeds 40 hours in one workweek. Massachusetts law requires employers to pay employees additional compensation when they work extended hours. Employers and employees are not allowed to agree to violate the law and paid time off is not allowable compensation for extra work hours.

Exempt and Nonexempt Employees

Massachusetts law requires employers to pay employees overtime compensation at a rate of 1 1/2 times the employees rate of pay for hours worked over 40 in one workweek, according to the General Laws of Massachusetts. This does not apply to all workers in the state, though. Workers such as executives, restaurant workers and those who work in gasoline stations are exempt from the Massachusetts overtime laws.

Overtime After 40 Hours

Massachusetts law requires employers to pay overtime when an employee exceeds 40 hours in a week. The state law does not require overtime pay for employees who work over eight hours in a single workday. While some businesses may choose to pay employees overtime after eight hours, it is not mandated by the state.


During weeks when an employee is paid for a holiday, the eight hours of holiday pay are not included in the determination for overtime compensation. Only hours that are actually worked by the employee past 40 hours are compensated at a rate of 1 1/2 times the employees rate of compensation.

Compensation Time and Agreements

Employee and employer cannot agree to compensation time in exchange for overtime hours. The employer and employee also cannot agree to violate the Massachusetts laws regarding overtime. For instance, an employee cannot agree to work for straight time for any hours worked over 40 in a workweek.

About the Author

Luanne Kelchner works out of Daytona Beach, Florida and has been freelance writing full time since 2008. Her ghostwriting work has covered a variety of topics but mainly focuses on health and home improvement articles. Kelchner has a degree from Southern New Hampshire University in English language and literature.