Employers Must Pay Out All Wages and Vacation Upon Termination in Massachusetts During the Outbreak of Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19)

Tough times call for tough measures.


Many employers will rely on this adage to avoid their obligations under Massachusetts law during the outbreak of Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19).  Massachusetts law generally requires employers to pay all wages and accrued vacation on the day that someone is laid off, not per the usual billing cycle.  Employees should not leave their hard-earned money with an employer that may go bankrupt in the current environment.


Employees need to resort to tough measures as well: Employees need an attorney.  It can be difficult, however, to pay an attorney for full representation during this time.  To meet this need, Massachusetts allows attorneys to provide what is called limited assistance representation.  Under such an agreement, an attorney can provide single and less costly legal services like drafting a letter without entering into an expensive continuous agreement for legal representation.


One form of limited assistance representation that may be of use today is the drafting of a letter that reminds an employer of their legal obligations.  Attorney Newbill can draft such a letter for the employee to send to his or her employer.  The letter will contain a provision stating: “This letter was drafted with the assistance of Attorney Lucas Newbill.  Attorney Newbill does not represent [YOUR NAME HERE] and will not respond to any communications regarding this matter.  Please direct all communications directly to [YOUR NAME HERE].   Failure to comply with the laws stated herein may result in [YOUR NAME HERE] retaining an attorney to pursue legal action.”


Sometimes a good letter is all it takes to get employers on the right path.


Please call Attorney Newbill at 617-918-7567 to discuss your legal options.  Attorney Newbill is a civil rights and employment lawyer in Brookline, Massachusetts, serving the Greater Boston region.


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