How do Massachusetts Blue Laws affect employment?

Massachusetts Blue Laws are an old set of laws that limit commerce on Sundays and certain holidays. The Blue Laws have their roots in a time where Church and State were less separated, and Puritan traditions had an effect on lawmaking. But while those laws are still present, they have changed greatly over the years. Before 1994, retailers had to get a police permit to open their doors on Sundays, and could not open before noon regardless.

For an employee, the Blue Laws can be very beneficial. Any retailer that operates on Sunday must provide time-and-a-half pay to all of their non-executive and non-administrative staff members. If an employee does not want to work on Sundays, they are entitled to declining work on that day without consequences of dismissal or any other penalty.

Many non-retail establishments, with exceptions, are not allowed to open at all on Sundays. Exceptions include emergency services, toll booths, and libraries, among many others. For more information about the exceptions, find the full list here.

Attorney David Dishman has years of experience with Massachusetts labor laws. For consultation, contact the Law Offices of David Dishman at 617-523-5252.

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