In a recent ruling, Dow v. Casale, et al., a Massachusetts Judge held that a Massachusetts employer could be liable for unpaid wages of an employee who was a Florida resident pursuant to the Massachusetts Wage Act. The Judge found that the Florida employee had many of his customers in Massachusetts, had a Massachusetts business address, and a Massachusetts phone and fax number. As a result, the Florida employee maintained sufficient contacts with Massachusetts to be protected by the Massachusetts Wage Act. The Judge concluded “the Wage Act was designed to regulate the actions of Massachusetts employers, regardless of where the employees work.” This ruling heightens the need for Massachusetts employers to carefully consider how their workforce is structured. It should not be assumed that because an employee or independent contractor is located in another state, that Massachusetts law will not apply. Massachusetts employers, including individual officers, who have been found in violation of the Massachusetts Wage Act, are liable for the unpaid wages, automatic triple damages, attorney’s fees and costs.
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