Benefits and Compensation, HR Management & Compliance

Massachusetts to See Minimum Wage, ‘Blue Law’ Changes in January

Changes in Massachusetts’ minimum wage and the “blue law” affecting premium pay for certain employees working on Sundays will go into effect on January 1, 2019.

The minimum wage will go from $11 to $12 an hour, a result of a law passed last summer. The minimum will go up 75 cents an hour every year until it hits $15 an hour on January 1, 2023. The law increasing the minimum wage also provides for paid family and medical leave beginning in 2021.

Premium pay for employees who work in retail establishments on Sundays and certain holidays will begin going down on January 1, also a result of the law passed last summer. The mandatory time-and-a-half pay will go from 1.5 times the regular rate of pay to 1.4 times the regular rate on January 1. It will go to 1.3 times on January 1, 2020, and so on until January 1, 2023, when the mandatory overtime requirement will be eliminated altogether.

For more information on changes to the minimum wage and blue law in Massachusetts, see the July 2018 issue of Massachusetts Employment Law Letter.

John S. Gannon is a partner at the firm of Skoler, Abbott & Presser, P.C., in Springfield, Massachusetts. He can be reached at