November 30, 2008
Prevailing Wage Must Be Used for Overtime Calculation Rules Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court
Filed under: News
Vision Payroll

In Mullally, et al. v. Waste Management of Massachusetts, Inc., SJC-10181 (Mass. 11/6/2008), the Supreme Judicial Court of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts (SJC) ruled that the defendant (Waste Management) violated Massachusetts law by “calculating overtime wages using a regular hourly rate less than the prevailing wage eligible employees must be paid.” The employees who filed suit were required under Massachusetts General Laws (MGL) c. 149, §27F to receive the prevailing wage rate for “waste disposal employees performing under municipal contracts.” Waste Management had devised a formula under which employees always received the prevailing wage or higher when averaging the hourly rate for straight time and overtime. The SJC ruled that Massachusetts law (MGL c. 151, §1A) requires employees to receive at least the prevailing wage in cash and allowed benefits for straight time and one and one half time the prevailing wage in cash and allowed benefits for overtime. Allowing Waste Management’s formula would evade “the economic disincentive to have an employee work more than forty hours a week” since there would be little or no overtime premium paid regardless of the number of hours worked. The SJC remanded the case to Massachusetts Superior Court for further proceedings to determine the amount of damages. Vision Payroll strongly recommends that you review all overtime calculations with your labor attorney to ensure compliance with all applicable federal and state laws.


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