Know Your Rights: Massachusetts Employee Contract Protections
Massachusetts is a worker-friendly state with various legal protections for the workers provided as part of the employment contract. In 2018, a comprehensive law related to pay equity was passed, and in the same year, a key change was made to the law on non-compete agreements in Massachusetts.
These new laws are aimed at further protecting the employees’ interests. If you are involved in a dispute with your employer or believe that your employer has been unfair in their dealings with you, it is a good idea to consider employment mediation in Massachusetts to settle the dispute.
Fair Dealing is Implied in the Contract
Even if you do not have an employment contract or agreement in writing, a verbal contract or understanding is still valid. You will receive all the protections under employment law just like any other worker who has a written contract. Fair dealing and good faith are the implied covenants in an employment contract in Massachusetts.
Therefore, your employer is legally prohibited from misusing or violating the terms of the contract to terminate your job unfairly or deprive you of your rightful wages or commissions for the services rendered. Litigation is almost always a prolonged and expensive way to resolve employment disputes. Your best bet would be to consider the option of employment mediation in Massachusetts in order to protect your rights in a dispute with the employer.
Labor Laws that Govern Employment Contracts
Your employment contract must be in conformance with various Massachusetts laws that govern the employment relationship. Some of the important laws in this area include:
Payment of Wages Law: This law mandates that at the time of termination, your employer must pay all the wages that may be due to you. These include any wages accrued because of unused vacation leave.)
Laws related to Leave and Time Off: In Massachusetts, your employment contract will be made with respect to several laws relating to leave of absence and time off. These include a mandatory law for Sick Leave, a law for Domestic Violence leave, and a law for “Small Necessities” Leave (this gives you time off for doctor appointments, caring for parents, and school activities of your children).
Anti-Discrimination Law: If your employer has six or more employees, this law will apply to your employment contract in Massachusetts. Unlike federal law, the state of Massachusetts imposes strict liability if your manager or supervisor indulges in sexual or other types of harassment at the workplace against you.
Paid Family and Medical Leave Law: Starting July 1st, 2019, employers in Massachusetts are contributing to a state-administered PFML (paid family and medical leave) program. The benefits will start getting paid from 2021. Any dispute related to violation of one or more of these laws can be best addressed through employment mediation in Massachusetts.
Privacy and Monitoring: Massachusetts does not have a specific law in this regard, so it may not be a part of your employment contract. However, a right to privacy statute is a part of the state laws in general. Therefore, the law will protect against unreasonable seeking of personal data, drug testing, and workplace searches.
Consider Employment Mediation Massachusetts for Dispute Resolution
Shapiro Mediation Services offers top professional employment mediation while maintaining the highest ethics and legal standards. We have the expertise to mediate and help resolve all types of employment contract-related disputes. For a free consultation, call us at 617.765.1040 or complete this brief online form.