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Michael J. Bace

Michael Bace’s Answers

61 total


  • I was working landscaping in MA, I stopped because my boss owes me nearly $1400. What should I do?

    I started working as a laborer. His first check bounced and never paid me the sum of that check or for any other time I worked. I stopped working for him after I felt about 3 weeks when I felt I was getting the shaft. I've already contacted the...

    Michael’s Answer

    If you are owed $1,400 in earned wages, you are as a matter of law, entitled to three times that amount, costs, interest, and a reasonable attorney's fee award. Thus, most attorneys, like my office, would be happy to file litigation against the company on a contingency fee basis - which means, you pay nothing, until/unless there is a settlement/resolution.

    I suggest you contact an employment litigator who does this work in MA as soon as you can. Most will speak to you by phone for a free initial consultation.

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  • Did my employer have the right to make me sign that statement ? Can he withhold my last pay?

    My employer is withholding my last paycheck, I had been in trouble and had to make court appearance's, I used sick and vacation time for this. My employer had me sign a statement saying I wouldn't miss any more work or I would loose my job, ( w...

    Michael’s Answer

    It's unlawful for an employer to refuse to pay earned wages. The penalty for doing so, is three times your actual damages.

    I suggest you contact an attorney who practices in this area without delay - most, like my firm, will evaluate your situation and propose some options.

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  • Can pay be deducted for talking with co-workers about working conditions?

    When an uncomfortable issue has been brought up at work (example - calling out the company owners for doing something illegal, such as holding mandatory meetings off work hours and not paying hourly employees for the time in those meetings) even i...

    Michael’s Answer

    No, employers in MA cannot unilaterally deduct from your earned wages for "gossiping"; that action, would be a violation of the Wage Act, entitling you to three times your damages.

    Further, you must be paid for every hour of compensable working time. It sounds like you may be forced to work without pay by your employer during certain circumstances. I suggest you contact a MA lawyer today. Most, like my office, will evaluate the situation for free, and see if there is anything that can be done to help.

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  • Help

    I worked for a client in Boston. I sent him invoice and is refusing to pay. The money is in the magnitude of 100k

    Michael’s Answer

    If there is any chance you were misclassified, and are actually an employee of the company (despite your arrangement ), then these are earned "wages" and not simply an unpaid invoice - the significance is, you may be entitled to three times the outstanding balance.

    Contact an employment attorney in MA right away. Most, like my office will evaluate the situation for free and propose options.

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  • I am exempt salaried and required to use paid time off for partial days even though I work 40 hours or more in a week.

    I'm an exempt salaried professional. In a typical week I work 50 to 60 hours. My supervisor makes me use sick or vacation time for partial time off such as a medical appointment although I'm still working 40 or more hours. My job requires that I ...

    Michael’s Answer

    Just because you are paid on a salary basis, does not necessarily mean you are exempt from overtime pay. I suggest you have an attorney review the situation in detail to determine whether or not you are actually exempt.

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  • Can any action be taken against my employer? (OVERTIME, UNEMPLOYMENT, Sick time)

    My employer tries to label all but 3 workers as "seasonal", however we all worked mor re days than a seasonal worker is obligated to. work does not pay OT over 40 hours a week (pay is bi weekly) Employer says no sick days (edited my ...

    Michael’s Answer

    If the seasonal business exception is not applicable, and you are entitled to pay at an overtime rate, the penalties to your employer are significant. You may be entitled to treble damages, and a reasonable attorney's fee - the best course is to call an attorney as soon as possible.

    Most, like my office, will evaluate your claim for free, and propose some options.

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  • As a delivery driver in Massachusetts am i entitled to hourly pay?

    I am a food delivery driver in Massachusetts, we get paid tips and commission ($4) per order delivered and no hourly wage, i make more than $9 an hour (tips and commission combined). The law regarding tipped positions in MA states: As of Januar...

    Michael’s Answer

    Potentially. There are a lot of issues here including: are you paid as an employee (taxes are withheld from your pay)? Do you use your own vehicle? Are you reiumbursed for driving expenses? Are you required to share your tips? Do you work more than 40-hours per week?

    I suggest you review the pay practices with an attorney to determine whether or not you have a claim - most, like my office will review for free and suggest some options.

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  • Is it legal for a massage business owner to charge her independent LMT's a fee ($15/hr) for blocking time on their calendar?

    We block time off if we're not busy when it's slow, but we still always stay "available" to work on our scheduled day. This can't be legal. And if she does charge us for blocking time off, we (us LMT's) should get $ compensated from the spa owne...

    Michael’s Answer

    You are an employee, regardless of what the massage business owner decides to call you. The significance is, you're entied to all the protections afforded to employees - overtime pay and a reimbursement of these "fees" and minimum wage for every hour worked.

    The owner's failure to classify you properly may entitle you to three times your owed wages - most firms, like mine, will give you a free consultation to review the situation and give you options for a remedy.

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  • Does an employer need to provide lunch break for full time employees?

    Is there a particular law in Massachusetts or a case where a Judge ruled that a company must give at least a 30 minute lunch break to employees who work 8 hours a day or more? My company says that I am too busy and can just eat while I work. How...

    Michael’s Answer

    If you are required to work during your lunch break, then you are required to be paid for that time, because it is compensable working time. If that time is in excess of forty (40) in any given week, then you should be paid at an overtime rate for that time unless there is an applicable exception.

    If there is a violation of the wage and hour laws, you're entitled to three times the owed wages, and you can theoretically look backward in time for three years.

    I suggest you contact an employment attorney; most will give you a free initial consultation to evaluate the situation.

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  • Can my employer make me work over time?

    Currently I am working 46 hours a week, 6 days a week. My employer is telling me I have to attend after hours activities to generate more business. Am I legally obligated to work the additional overtime?

    Michael’s Answer

    It depends; generally speaking, there isn't anything preventing an employer from requiring employees to work overtime as part of their job duties. If employers require overtime hours, barring some other exemption, you must be paid at a rate of 1.5 times your regular rate for all overtime hours.

    If you are not being paid properly, you may be entitled to three times any owed wages. I suggest you contact an employment attorney to review the details - most, like my office, will give you a free initial consultation to see if there is anything that can be done.

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