Nobody ever said running a business was a walk in the park. As an employer, you have a lot of balls in the air, and compliance is just one of them. One really, really important one that, if dropped, could cost you a whole lot of money.
In addition to federal regulations, each state has their own share of employment laws that business owners need to be aware of. Here, we’re highlighting some of these key state-specific requirements and laws, and offering guidance to help you keep up.
Bear in mind, this list is not comprehensive, and there may be local or industry-specific employment requirements that your business needs to comply with. It’s best to consult with counsel to ensure compliance with all applicable laws, as Justworks does not provide legal advice.
Payroll Tax Accounts
Because Justworks reports state unemployment taxes on behalf of customers who utilize Justworks’ PEO services, Justworks may need to collect account information such as your account number and current rate. You can read more about it here: State Unemployment Insurance.
Massachusetts has minimum wage requirements in excess of the federal minimum wage. Among other requirements, certain industries are prevented from operating on Sundays and certain holidays.
Department of Labor Standards: Minimum wage and overtime information
Additionally, the Massachusetts Equal Pay Act requires employees be paid equally for comparable work.
State Retirement Program
The Massachusetts CORE Plan is the state of Massachusetts' program designed to give employees access to a retirement savings plan when their employer does not offer a private plan meeting the minimum standards. You can read more about state retirement programs at the link below.
Massachusetts law provides up to 8 weeks of unpaid, job-protected leave for eligible employees who have become new parents. This can often run alongside Massachusetts Paid Family and Medical Leave (MA PFML; see below) for employees eligible for both.
Department of Labor Standards: Parental Leave
Paid Family and Medical Leave
Eligible employees in Massachusetts can receive with partial payment of wages through this state program for up to 12 weeks to bond with a new child or care for a family member with a serious health condition, and up to 20 weeks for the employee’s own serious health condition.
Department of Labor Standards: Paid Family & Medical Leave
Paid Sick Leave
Under the Massachusetts Earned Sick Time law, employers must provide sick leave for their employees and are required to display a notice for employees to view that details employee rights under the law.
Harassment & Discrimination
Pregnant Workers Fairness Act
The Massachusetts Pregnant Workers Fairness Act (PWFA) mandates that certain employers make reasonable accommodations to employees for pregnancy and related conditions. Among other requirements, the Act also dictates that employers not discriminate against employees on the basis of pregnancy or related conditions.
Massachusetts employers should familiarize themselves with specific compliance issues and certain key considerations for separating employees.
In Massachusetts, the final paycheck must be issued by the end of the day of separation if the separation is involuntary. For a voluntary separation, the final paycheck can be issued on next regularly scheduled payday or on the Saturday that follows an employee’s resignation if there is no scheduled payday.
Department of Labor Standards: Massachusetts law about employment termination
Employer Medical Assistance Contribution
The Employer Medical Assistance Contribution (EMAC) is an employer tax in Massachusetts. The EMAC contribution funds help subsidize health care to low-income residents of the Commonwealth.
Massachusetts Health Insurance Responsibility Disclosure (HIRD) Form
Employers in Massachusetts with six or more employees will have to report certain health insurance information to the state, via an online form.
This material has been prepared for informational purposes only, and is not intended to provide, and should not be relied on for, legal or tax advice. If you have any legal or tax questions regarding this content or related issues, then you should consult with your professional legal or tax advisor.