BOSTON (June 19, 2019) – Seyfarth Shaw LLP has published the fourth edition of its book, Massachusetts Peculiarities: An Employer's Guide to Wage & Hour Laws in the Bay State, the industry's only comprehensive guide on the substantial risks to employers under the Commonwealth's unique wage and hour laws. With a patchwork of arcane and complex statutes that impose many non-intuitive requirements, some of which date back to the 17th century, Massachusetts laws far exceed the scope of federal law and remain among the most restrictive in the nation.

The 2019 edition of Massachusetts Peculiarities provides a detailed summary of Massachusetts wage and hour laws, including an analysis of the significant court decisions and regulatory authorities interpreting those laws and, where applicable, the ways in which they differ from federal law.

"Employers operating in the Commonwealth continue to encounter many unique challenges brought on by a myriad of new and existing wage and hour laws that carry the further burden of mandatory treble damages," said Richard Alfred, Boston-based chair of Seyfarth's national Wage & Hour Litigation practice. "Among many other local employment peculiarities, Massachusetts companies face obscure restrictions dating back to the colonial period; comply with possibly the harshest tip statue in the country; and abide by one of the most defined constriction in the use of independent contractors of any state."

Led by Seyfarth's Robert Fisher, editor-in-chief of Massachusetts Peculiarities, the book features the collective contributions of more than 20 Labor & Employment lawyers from the firm's Boston office. "In the past year alone, the protections for employees and obligations on employers have increased substantially in Massachusetts. Our team carefully crafted this resource as a business necessity for in-house counsel and human resources professionals looking to successfully navigate our current legal landscape," said Fisher.

The Seyfarth book analyzes a number of new trends and topics, including:

  • The increase of the Massachusetts minimum wage to one of the highest in the country, which will continue to increase annually over the next four years.
  • The establishment of a complicated and unique paid family and medical leave law.
  • The enactment of an equal pay law that exceeds the requirements of federal law.
  • The extension of parental leave to include paternity leave.
  • The passage of a generous sick leave law.

First published in 2010, Massachusetts Peculiarities is part of Seyfarth's popular Peculiarities series of books, which closely analyze the most challenging environments for U.S. employers operating in states like California, Illinois and Massachusetts. It is also available in eBook format, which is compatible with most major devices, fully searchable and includes a number of other features, including note-taking, highlighting and more. To view the Massachusetts Peculiarities eBook, please click here.

With more than 35 lawyers, Seyfarth's Boston Labor & Employment group is one of the largest labor and employment practices in Massachusetts. Nationally, Seyfarth's Wage & Hour Litigation practice includes close to 150 lawyers and has become one of the hallmarks of the firm's nationally recognized Labor & Employment Department. For additional news and analysis of wage and hour cases nationwide, please visit Seyfarth's Wage & Hour Litigation Blog.