Joint Committee on Labor and Workforce Development Hearing Update

Date: October 20, 2021

NFIB provided testimony on a wide range of bills being heard before the Joint Committee on Labor and Workforce Development this week. Despite businesses attempting to recover from the aftermath of pandemic-related shutdowns and restrictions, lawmakers filed a whole slate of bills that will negatively impact small businesses.


NFIB submitted testimony in OPPOSITION to the following proposals:

  • Bills phasing-out the tipped wage for restaurants. Ending the tipped wage proved disastrous in Maine, where servers (now facing a reduction in tips and take-home pay) pleaded with lawmakers to reinstate the tipped wage.
  • Legislation increasing the salary threshold for overtime pay, meaning more salaried workers would be eligible for overtime. If passed, many employers expressed they will simply convert salaried workers to hourly staff.
  • Proposals to reinstitute Sunday/holiday premium pay for retail shops. In 2018, lawmakers agreed to phase-out time-and-a-half pay for Sundays and holidays in the Grand Bargain law so businesses would not face a $22.50 minimum wage when the minimum wage reached $15 per hour. Now some lawmakers want to go back on their promise to phase it out.
  • Several bills expanding the prevailing wage laws to industries like offsite fabrication work, testing and repair of fire prevention systems, public building security officers, trash, and recycling collectors. If passed this will result in higher costs for Massachusetts employers and residents.

There were also positive bills that will benefit business owners. NFIB submitted comments in SUPPORT of bills that would:

  • Allow a teen/training wage as incentive to hire younger, inexperienced workers. Nearly 40 other states have a teen or training wage, Massachusetts is not one of them.
  • Allow for judicial discretion for wage violations. Currently, willful intent is not considered when awarding treble damages for violations so honest mistakes can prove expensive.



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