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Massachusetts AG Healey advises public about 2019 minimum wage increase

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Boston — Attorney General Maura Healey is reminding the public and Massachusetts employers that the state’s minimum wage will increase to $12 per hour beginning on Jan. 1, 2019. The AG’s Office has updated its wage and hour poster that employers are required to display in both English and any other language that is spoken by five percent or more of the employer’s workforce. The AG has made the poster available in seven languages and in formats that employers, workers, members of the public, and organizations can easily access, free of charge.

“My office’s Fair Labor Division is issuing this reminder to make sure workers know their rights and employers know their obligations under the law,” AG Healey said. “We remain dedicated to protecting the economic security of Massachusetts workers and their families through education, outreach, and enforcement actions.”

In June 2018, the Massachusetts Legislature passed a statute that set the minimum wage to increase each year until it reaches $15 in 2023, beginning this year with an increase to $12 per hour. Also effective Jan. 1, tipped employees (those who receive more than $20 a month in tips) must be paid a minimum of $4.35 per hour provided that, with tips, the employee receives at least $12 per hour. If the total hourly rate for the employee including tips does not equal $12 at the end of the shift, the employer must make up the difference.

Hard copies of the AG’s Wage and Hour poster are available in English, Chinese, Haitian Creole, Khmer, Portuguese, Spanish, and Vietnamese upon request. To request a copy, please visit www.mass.gov/ago/fldposter or call (617) 963-2327. Posters are also available to download and print on the AG’s Fair Labor Division website.

The AG’s Office is dedicated to ensuring that every worker earns at least the minimum wage for every hour worked. To increase resources available to victims of wage theft, the AG’s Office works with community partners, law schools, and private bar attorneys to host free monthly wage theft clinics at Suffolk Law School in Boston, and quarterly clinics in New Bedford and Springfield. These clinics are part of an effort to address wage theft and worker exploitation among vulnerable populations, including low-wage and immigrant workers in the state. For more information and a schedule of upcoming clinics, please click here.

The Attorney General’s Fair Labor Division enforces laws that protect workers, including minimum wage, timely payment of wages, overtime, earned sick time, child labor, Sunday and holiday premium pay, and the public construction bid and prevailing wage laws.

As a part of its continued efforts to protect workers and their families in Massachusetts, the AG’s Office issued its third annual Labor Day Report on the office’s efforts to address wage theft and other forms of worker exploitation last month. The report shows that in fiscal year 2018, the office opened 729 cases and assessed more than $9.6 million in restitution and penalties against employers on behalf of working people in Massachusetts.

Workers who believe that their rights have been violated in the workplace can file a complaint at www.mass.gov/ago/wagetheft, or call the office’s Fair Labor Hotline at (617) 727-3465. More information about the state’s wage and hour laws is also available in multiple languages at www.mass.gov/ago/fairlabor.

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