Home > Massachusetts Employment Law - General > SJC Rules Employees Can Pursue Wage Claims under Both MA Wage Act and Common Law

SJC Rules Employees Can Pursue Wage Claims under Both MA Wage Act and Common Law

August 16, 2013

Employment Attorney Bob SheaOn August 12, 2013, the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court (“SJC”) ruled that employees claiming they are owed wage or salary compensation are not limited to bringing their claims under the Massachusetts Wage Act, M.G.L. c. 149, § 148, and can also bring claims under common law, including breach of contract claims. The ruling is significant because, although the Wage Act provides very powerful remedies to claimants, including mandatory treble damages and attorney’s fees, the Wage Act has a three year statute of limitations. In contrast, a six year statute of limitations period applies to breach of contract claims in Massachusetts. This means that claimants can seek damages going back six years, though only the last three years of damages would be subject to trebling.

The SJC’s decision in Lipsitt v. Plaud can be accessed here.

You may contact a member of MBBP’s Employment Law Group for more information.