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Massachusetts Vacations: What you need to know

Although no Massachusetts law requires private sector employers to provide employees with vacations, paid or unpaid, most employers do offer their employees some version of vacation. Thus, it is important for employers to remember that if they “promise” vacation, they are legally bound to provide it—and that a binding promise does not necessarily require embodiment in a formal employment contract. Massachusetts courts have ruled that under some circumstances, an employer's assurance of paid vacation time, whether made in an employee handbook, given orally, or simply understood as a matter of common practice, may constitute an implied contract, which is binding and enforceable.
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The Attorney General's Division of Fair Labor and Business Practices has issued an advisory on employer vacation policies. The advisory clarifies the well-established statutes, noting that employers are free to devise their own system for vacation accrual. There are several different commonly used options:
• On a monthly basis
• On a pay-period basis
• Upon completion of a 6-month or 12-month period
The advisory also clarifies that accrued vacation may not be forfeited, nor can the accrual policy result in forfeiture. It is important to be clear and unambiguous when drafting such policies. Remember that any vagueness in the policy is likely to be construed against the employer.
Use it or lose it. Employers may cap the amount of vacation allowed to be earned and may institute “use it or lose it” policies and "carry-over" leave policies. Such policies must be written and clear, and the employer must provide adequate prior notice of the policy to employees and must ensure that ...

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Massachusetts Vacations Resources

Forms Request for Days Off
Policies Vacation
White Papers Time off May Be the Biggest Benefit

Vacations Products

Solving PTO Problems Webinar Recording
Solving PTO Problems: How to Reduce Unscheduled Absences Without Alienating Employees or Violating the Law"
Perfecting Your PTO Policy Recording
BLR Webinar: "Perfecting Your PTO Policy: How to Curb Abuse, Cut Absenteeism, and Comply with the Law""
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Claim Your Free Copy of Top 100 FLSA Overtime Q&As

We’ve compiled a list of the 100 most commonly asked questions we have received on the federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) overtime regulations.
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This report, "Top 100 FLSA Q&As", is designed to provide you with an examination of the federal FLSA overtime regulations in Q&A format, including valuable tips for bringing your workplace into compliance in an affordable manner.

At the end of the report, you will find a list of state resources on wage and hour issues. This report includes practical advice on topics such as:
  • FLSA Coverage: How FLSA regulations apply to all employers and any specific exemptions from the overtime requirements
  • Salary Level: Qualifying for exemptions and nonexempt employees
  • Deductions from Pay: Deducting for violations, disciplinary reasons, sick leave, or personal leave

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