Massachusetts High Court Holds Wage Claim Releases Are Valid and that Overtime Can Be Recovered Under Wage Payment Law

The Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court (the “SJC”) recently answered two important questions that have vexed lower courts, and employers, in recent years. First, the SJC concluded that employees may release claims under the Massachusetts Payment of Wages Law, Mass. Gen. Laws Chch. 149, § 148 (the “Wage Act”), provided that the release is “stated in clear and unmistakable terms” and specifically refers to the Wage Act. Second, the SJC held that, although plaintiffs may pursue claims for overtime under the Wage Act, which has a longer statute of limitations than the state overtime law, a plaintiff only may recover the straight-time value of such claims, not the premium rate provided for by the overtime law. To learn more about the decision, please see Littler's ASAP, Massachusetts High Court Permits Employees to Release Wage Claims, by Christopher Kaczmarek and Jeanne Barber.

Information contained in this publication is intended for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice or opinion, nor is it a substitute for the professional judgment of an attorney.