State labor laws in Massachusetts for salaried employees cover areas such as overtime pay, minimum wage and pay frequency. The laws, which are interpreted and enforced by local courts and staff members at the Massachusetts Labor and Workforce Development office, are designed to ensure that salaried employees receive fair compensation for all time that they work for employers in the state.
Most salaried employees must receive a standard hourly wage in Massachusetts. The minimum wage for these salaried employees in Massachusetts is $8 an hour, or $320 a week, as of April 2011. Certain salaried workers who are exempt from receiving overtime pay must receive at least $455 a week, according to Fair Labor Standards Act laws. Exempt salaried employees are paid a standard weekly, monthly or annual wage. They generally earn higher wages than other workers and are classified as executives and senior professionals at organizations.
After most employees work more than 40 hours during a week, the law requires that they must receive overtime pay. In Massachusetts, the overtime pay rate is equal to 1 1/2 times an employee's standard hourly wages. Therefore, an employee with an hourly wage of $50 must receive $75 an hour for all time they work above 40 hours in a week. Massachusetts does not require employers to pay employees overtime based on the number of hours they work in a day. To figure salaried employees' standard hourly wages, employers must divide employees' standard weekly gross wages by the number of hours employees are regularly scheduled to work. For example, employees with weekly gross wages of $1,400 who work 40 hours a week will have standard hourly wages equal to $35. These workers must receive $52.50 an hour for all overtime they work.
Executives, administrative professionals and outdoor salespersons who earn commissions are types of salaried employees who are exempt from receiving overtime pay in Massachusetts. These employees make independent decisions that impact an organization's finances, workforce, products or services. Examples of administrative professional jobs are chief administrative officers, human resource directors and chief operation officers.
After salaried employees resign or are laid off from their jobs, whether or not they are exempt, they must receive their final paycheck within six days of the pay period their final wages were earned in. If salaried employees work less than five days at an organization before they are laid off, they must receive all wages they are due within seven days of their last work day. Employers must pay salaried employees who resign and who only work five or less days at the organization on the next pay cycle.