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June 15, 2004
New Premium Pay Law in Mass. Is Employer-Friendly
Massachusetts employers may now credit Sunday premium pay toward overtime pay in the same workweek. Chapter 140 of the Acts of 2003 clarifies an ambiguity in the law that had retail businesses wondering whether they had to pay Sunday premium pay in addition to overtime compensation in the same week.

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Last August, a Suffolk County Superior Court judge, in the case of Swift v. Auto Zone, No. 2003-P-1083 (8/15/03), said they did. The state's highest court accepted a direct appeal of that ruling, but now the Massachusetts legislature has trumped the judiciary by changing the statute.

The new law makes state law parallel with the federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), which states that premium compensation for Saturday, Sunday, or holiday work may be treated as overtime for purposes of wage payment.

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