Business Law

Wage and Hour & Employee Law

Wage and Hour Law

Do you think your employer has failed to pay you all the wages you are owed? Contact Peter Russell for a free consultation. Peter successfully recovers the compensation you deserve, protecting you and your family.

Our firm can help you with wage and hour claims alleging:

  • General wage and hour – Most workers in Massachusetts are entitled to at least an $10.00 per hour minimum wage as well as time-and-one-half for hours worked in excess of 40 per week. The law also regulates pay issues for rest and meal breaks, on-call time and off-the-clock work such as donning and doffing.
  • Wage and hour for restaurant workers – Because many restaurant workers do not receive a minimum wage, tips typically constitute the bulk of their earnings. There are numerous laws designed to prevent tip theft and misappropriation by restaurant and hospitality owners. Tips are strictly protected and cannot be seized by owners or shared with non-tipped staff.
  • Prevailing wage laws – Tradespeople working on government and government-related contracts have extensive rights to minimum levels of pay and benefits, regardless of whether they are members of a union. Some tradespeople may be entitled to a prevailing wage in excess of $40.00 per hour along with fringe benefits. As a result, many tradespeople who consider themselves well compensated are in fact being deprived of thousands of dollars in wages to which they are legally entitled.
  • Misclassified workers – Most people know that salaried workers do not receive overtime for staying late, coming in early or working weekends. However, just because your employer designates you as salaried does not mean that you meet the criteria set by the Fair Labor Standards Act to be exempt from overtime requirements. This type of misclassification is increasingly common, especially among administrative and computer technology workers.
  • Internship nonpayment: You are hired as an intern, but actually doing the same work as paid employees, but your are not getting paid.
  • Independent contractor issues – Another trick that employers have adopted is to misclassify people as independent contractors to avoid minimum wage, paying for benefits, overtime and other employment law requirements. Much like classification of salaried-exempt employees, however, just because your employer says that you are an independent contractor does not make it a legal truth.
  • Unpaid commissions – In many cases, commissioned workers—both employees and independent contractors—live at the whim of their employers and feel they have no recourse when payment of their rightfully earned commissions is delayed or outright denied. However, state and local laws in New York do provide protections and require the timely payment of commissions due.
  • Equal Pay Act – Gender inequality in compensation for work is subject not only to prohibition under the Civil Rights Act but also special regulation under amendments to the Fair Labor Standards Act known as the Equal Pay Act. However, the Civil Rights Act and the Equal Pay Act each offer different remedies and carry different limitations and requirements. Unfortunately, many women have been denied the benefit of these laws simply because they failed to act quickly enough to pursue their rights.

Employment Law

Russell & Associates handles a wide range of employment law matters, including:

Employment Contracts

Representing both employers and employees in the drafting, review and negotiation of executive benefits packages, severance agreements, non-solicitation agreements, non-compete agreements and other employment contracts.

Employment Discrimination/ Sexual Harassment

Counseling parties in all types of employment disputes, with a focus on issues that employees may face at work or in separating from employment. This includes discrimination on the basis of disability, race, age, sex, and sexual orientation, and issues like sexual harassment, family and medical leave problems, wrongful termination, and improper denials of medical and pension benefits.

Class Action Law Suits

A class action lawsuit enables one individual or a small group of people to sue on behalf of a larger group of people with similar complaints. In a class action lawsuit, the concerns of hundreds of thousands of people are addressed at once, working on the principle that there is strength in numbers.

With extensive experience handling large employment and corporate class action lawsuits, Russell & Associates works tirelessly to ensure the best possible outcome. Previously-handled class action lawsuits include failure to pay wages, overtime, gratuities, minimum wage and misclassification of employees as independent contractors.

Business Law

Organizations of every size face legal challenges. Providing cost-effective representation on a wide variety of business and commercial law matters, Russell & Associates can assist you with issues related to your closely-held business, including:

  • Formation and choice of business entity
  • Corporate governance
  • Preparation and negotiation of commercial agreements
  • Business sale and acquisitions
  • Employment matters