Massachusetts Overtime and Meal & Rest Break Laws for Nurses

Under Chapter 151 Section 1A of the Massachusetts General Laws, employers are required to pay mandatory overtime to any employee working longer than 40 hours in any particular workweek. Under Massachusetts and federal law, a workweek is defined as seven consecutive days including weekends. However, the Massachusetts Code specifically exempts from these provisions those working in hospitals, nursing homes or rest homes. For those not exempt from the statute, employers must also provide time and one-half pay for those working on Sundays or holidays unless employees are already paid that rate as part of regular compensation.

Under Chapter 149, Section 100 and 101, employers must provide meal breaks of at least 30 minutes for workers having worked longer than six hours in one work day. The Attorney General may exempt businesses that require a continuous operation if it will not affect worker safety. Under federal law, employers may require an employee to eat while on duty if the nature of the work is dependent on constant employer presence.
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