On June 26, 2017, in a case of first impression argued by Attorney Adam J. Shafran, the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court issued a unanimous 7-0 decision holding that employees who are owed unpaid wages are entitled to recover prejudgment interest at the rate of 1% a month on their unpaid wages in addition to recovering an award of mandatory treble damages.
This decision is of great significance for employees who bring suit against their employer for unpaid wages because it creates a strong disincentive for employers who attempt to delay and drag out the lawsuit. Under the Court’s decision, every month that an employer delays payment of wages, it is now required to pay the employee an additional 1% of the unpaid wage amount in prejudgment interest. The scope of the Court’s decision is also substantial as it potentially applies to any form of unpaid wages including, prevailing wages, commissions, salaries, vacation pay, tips, and any other form of wages. The larger the amount of wages that are owed the larger the amount of interest the employer will be required to pay to the prevailing employee.
Generally employees only have three years to file to suit to recover any unpaid wages owed to them by their employer. Only in rare circumstances will courts in Massachusetts allow employees to recover unpaid wages that are more than three years old, so it is important that employees act promptly if they believe they are owed any wages by either their current or former employer. If you believe you are owed wages, contact Attorney Shafran at any time to learn more about your wage and hour rights in Massachusetts, and to determine whether anything can be done to recover the wages that are owed to you.
Attorney Shafran can be reached at 617-371-4364 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.