A Massachusetts employment contract is a document that details the rights, responsibilities, and terms that an employee agrees to when they are hired by their employer. The contract will list any benefits that the employee be entitled to, their rate of pay, vacation pay, allowances for personal leave, and any other terms that the employer deems necessary.
’Under Massachusetts law, an employment contract without an expiration date can be terminated “at-will,” which means that the employer can fire the employee at any time without notice (see exceptions here). Nonetheless, it is common for employees to be given a standard two (2) weeks’ termination notice and for the notice requirement to be reflected in the contract.
Independent Contractor Agreement – A contract between a self-employed worker and their client.
Subcontractor Agreement – Allows a subcontractor to enter into a work agreement with a general contractor.
- Labor Statutes: Title XXI (Labor and Industries)
- Definition of Employee: Ch. 152 § 1(4)
- Minimum Wage: $14.25/hr (Ch. 151 § 1, Mass.gov)
- Overtime: Employees must be paid one and a half (1.5) times their hourly wage (Ch. 151 § 1A).
- Record Keeping: All employers who have twenty (20) or more employees must keep personnel records, and maintain each employee’s record for at least three (3) years after they have been terminated (Ch. 149, § 52C).
Permitted? Yes, employers can terminate employees at any time with or without notice. However, an employee cannot be fired for any of the following reasons (Ch. 151B § 4):
- Sexual orientation
- Exercising their rights
- Aiding another individual to exercise their rights