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Massachusetts Supreme Court rules employees working on commission were entitled to Sunday pay, overtime

Lawsuits

By Takesha Thomas | May 21, 2019


BOSTON (Legal Newsline) – The Supreme Court of Massachusetts has found that retail employees who are paid via commission or draws are entitled to Sunday pay or additional overtime.

The justices reviewed the Sunday pay statute after employees of Sleepy's filed suit against the company for allegedly failing to pay overtime or Sunday pay. They alleged this was a violation of the Wage Act. 

"We conclude that draws and commissions cannot be retroactively allocated as hourly and overtime wages and Sunday pay even if these draws and commissions equaled or exceeded the minimum wage for the employees' first 40 hours of work and one-and-one-half times the minimum wage for all hours worked over 40 hours or on Sunday. Rather, the employees are entitled to separate and additional payments of one-and-one-half times the minimum wage for every hour the employees worked over 40 hours or on Sunday," Chief Justice Scott L. Kafker wrote in the May 8 ruling.

According to the ruling, employees of the former Sleepy's filed suit in September 2017 alleging violation of Wage Act, as well as overtime and Sunday pay statutes. According to the suit, employers failed to pay employees additional compensation beyond the recoverable daily draw and any commissions. Under the company's policy, employees were paid on a 100 percent commission basis.

"Wages took the form of a recoverable draw of $125 per day, and any sales commissions in excess of the draw," according to ruling. 

The salespersons worked for Sleepy's between 2014 and 2016, also worked on at least one Sunday, and worked more than 40 hours in a week. 

Attorneys for Sleepy's argued that employees had received compensation adding that "their claims were offset by other compensation that they had received," the ruling states.

The court found that employees are entitled to one-and-one-half times the minimum wage for any hours worked over 40 and/or Sunday pay.

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