What is the Difference Between the Wage Act and the Minimum Wage Laws?
Both the Wage Act and Massachusetts minimum wage laws are designed to protect employees. The main difference is that the Wage Act governs when wages must be paid. The minimum wage laws, in contrast, control the baseline minimum amount employees must be paid.
If you are being paid regularly, but your hourly rate is less than minimum wage ($14.25 per hour in 2022, and $15.00 per hour beginning in 2023), you can seek relief under the minimum wage laws for the difference between what you are paid and the minimum amount. The same is true if you are a commission only employee and have weeks or months when you receive no pay at all.
If your rate of pay is higher than the minimum wage but your employer is late paying you, does not pay you at all, or makes unlawful deductions to your paycheck, you can seek relief under the Wage Act.
Not being paid enough and not being paid on time are two different kinds of claims- the first arising under the minimum wage laws and the second under the Wage Act. Both statutes, however, provide similar remedies- multiple damages and payment of costs and attorneys' fees.
Learn more here about the Massachusetts Wage and Hour Laws.
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