Business Litigation: September 2019 Archives

Viable Retaliation Claim For An Employee Terminated Several Months After He Complained About Discrimination By His Supervisor

In a recent unpublished decision, Bakhtiar v. Infineon Technologies Americas Corp.the Superior Court in Worcester County (Yarashus, J.) found that an employee could establish a prima facie case of retaliation under Massachusetts law (G.L.c. 151B, § 1) even though eight months passed between his complaint of discriminatory treatment by his supervisor and his termination.

Are Employees Paid Solely by Way of Commissions Entitled to Separate Payments for Overtime Work or Work on Sundays Under the Massachusetts Overtime and Sunday Wage Statutes?

In Sullivan v. Sleepy's LLC, the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court (SJC) answered this question in the affirmative. In Sullivan, the SJC considered whether an employer satisfied its obligations to its employees under Massachusetts Overtime and Sunday wage laws, where its employees' wages were comprised entirely of commission (or draws against commission), if their total weekly income met or exceeded one and a half times their regular hourly rate or at least one and a half times the minimum wage for each hour they worked over forty. The Court concluded that those employees were entitled to a separate payment - in addition to their draws or commissions - of one and a half times their regular rate or at least one and a half times minimum wage for every hour they worked over forty. With regard to Sunday pay, the SJC affirmed that a plain reading of that statute requires a separate and distinct time and a half payment for hours worked on a Sunday pay even when an employee received commission payments in the first instance that equaled or exceeded what the employee would be entitled to per the Sunday pay statute.

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