Case Study 3: Overtime Violations in Massachusetts

Attorney Ben Steffans’s investigation into refusal to pay for accrued vacation time leads to discovery of serious overtime violation and significant payout to 18 employees.  

In 2016, employment attorney Ben Steffans was approached by a transportation driver whose story proves this point well.

Massachusetts law requires that employers pay employees for vacation time they have accrued but not used at the time of termination. In this instance, this employee approached Ben Steffans because his employer had refused to pay him for approximately 1 week of vacation, claiming that it wasn’t owed because the policy was oral and not written.

Attorney Steffans quickly identified that the employer was mistaken in this regard.  Massachusetts law requires the payment of unused vacation time at termination, regardless of how the promise of vacation pay is made. While reviewing the case and interviewing the client, Attorney Steffans spotted a different issue that impacted this employee, one that related to overtime. After meeting with the client on a number of occasions, Ben determined that the employer’s decision not to pay his client overtime was consistent with federal law, but not with state law.  In fact, this decision was a clear violation of the Massachusetts Wage Act.

Ben Steffans quickly filed suit. Within weeks, he was not just representing this initial client, but also 18 of his former co-workers. The employer initially refused to admit guilt.  In response, Steffans convinced the court to place a lien on property owned by the employer. This forced the employer’s hand and the claim settled for a considerable sum a short time later.

Are you a resident of Springfield, Pittsfield, Worcester, Lawrence, Fall River, New Bedford or the Cape?  Are you working overtime and not getting paid?  Contact Steffans Legal to schedule a free consultation.