The Attorney General's Office takes complaints regarding unpaid wages. It offers employees online forms for this purpose.
The Fair Labor and Business Practices Division of the Massachusetts Attorney General's Office handles complaints of state labor law violations. This office provides a streamlined approach by providing employees with online resources to file their complaints.
Types of Complaints
The Fair Labor and Business Practices Division handles complaints regarding minimum wage, overtime and vacation time. For example, Massachusetts law mandates a 30-minute meal break for employees who work more than six hours. While an employee can waive this right and work through his break, state law requires him to be compensated for this time. The Fair Labor and Business Practices Division can take complaints regarding meal breaks when these rules have not been followed.
Non-Payment of Wage Form
A victim of nonpayment of wages, earned vacation time, overtime, meal breaks or tips must fill out the required complaint form. The employee provides background information for himself and his employer, including names, address and phone numbers for both parties. He also reports whether he requested unpaid wages, what the employer's response was and whether the employer threatened any adverse action. The form limits the nature of the complaint explanation to 3,000 characters. The employee can upload documents that support his allegation, such as check stubs or communications from his employer.
Other Complaint Forms
An employees who works in public works construction projects is subject to different regulations and must complete a different form. In addition to providing background and contact information on this form, the employee must include details regarding the public work, including the name of the project, the supervisor's name, the nature of the work, the number of locations involved in the project and the method of payment.
Employees hired by employment agencies who have a complaint about the employment agency's business practices must complete this form.
Individuals who have an urgent complaint can call the Fair Labor Hotline at 617-727-3465. Massachusetts has four Fair Labor and Business Practices Division offices, located in Boston, Worcester, Pittsfield and New Bedford.
Once the Attorney General's Office receives a complaint, it determines whether to open an investigation. After any such investigation, the office determines which course of action to pursue, such as directly seeking payment for unpaid wages from the employer, issuing a civil citation against the employer, pursuing criminal charges against the employer or issuing the employee a private right to sue letter so that the employee can pursue an unpaid wages lawsuit.