Are Restaurant and Hotel Workers Exempt From Overtime?
Restaurant and hotel workers are an interesting example of the slight but important differences between federal and state overtime laws.
Under Massachusetts law, restaurant and hotel workers are exempt from overtime, meaning they are not required to be paid time and a half for hours over 40. They used to also be exempt under the federal Fair Labor Standards Act ("FLSA"), but those exemptions were removed.
What this means is that these workers should still be paid the overtime premium, but their remedy will only like under federal law. This only means they can recover double, not triple, their damages, and may only be able to look back two years rather than three. This is still a substantial potential liability, so employers in these industries should not be too comforted by the exemption under state law.
Learn more here about overtime exemptions.
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