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MA Supreme Judicial Court Says Sick Time is not Considered Wages Under the MA Wage Act

Published:  February 9, 2018

The Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court (“SJC”) recently held that an employee’s accrued and unused sick time is not compensable wages under the Massachusetts Wage Act.  As employers know, under the Massachusetts Wage Act an employee needs to be compensated for, among other things, any accrued but unused vacation time when separating employment.  However, the Wage Act does not include the term “sick time” in its text and the SJC refused to interpret the Wage Act as applying to sick time when it is not explicitly set forth in the statute.

This case has obvious implications for employers every time an employee separates from employment.

While the ruling seems straightforward, employers will always want to consult with counsel prior to terminating employees as different facts could change the Court’s interpretation of the Wage Act.

If you have any questions regarding the Massachusetts Wage Act, or any other aspect of employment law, please contact the attorneys at Royal, P.C.