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  1. #1
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    Default Rest Days in Massachusetts- Am I Entitled to a Day Off

    My question involves labor and employment law for the state of: Massachusetts

    I work for a company which operates on a normal 9-5 schedule on weekdays which everyone is required to work.
    Every weekend 1 employee must work Saturday and Sunday, doing work which amounts to approximately 5-6 hours/day.
    This weekend shift is rotated between 4 employees, so each employee works 1 weekend shift/month. When it is your turn to work the weekend shift, that means you are working 12 days in a row- Mon-Fri, Sat, Sun, and then Mon-Fri of the following week.

    After looking into this, it appears that Massachusetts allows employees 1 rest day after 6 consecutive days of work. I've been working this job for 8 years and I have never been informed about this, nor have I ever been offered a Monday or Friday off for instance to break up that long 12 Day shift.

    So the 2 questions I have are-

    1) Am I within my right to take a day off to break up the 12 days without fear of being penalized or terminated by my employer?

    2) As I mentioned, I have been working this way for 8 years. Is my employer at fault for allowing/asking this of us and is there any action I should take regarding that?

    Thank you!

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Rest Days in Massachusetts- Am I Entitled to a Day Off

    The MA law does not say that you have to have every seventh day off, only that there be one in every seven consecutive days. It is possible to work up to 12 days in a row and still with in compliance with the MA law as written.

    Additionally, you have not indicated what industry you are in, but the law in question applies only if you work in a manufacturing, mechanical or mercantile establishment. If you work in any other industry, the law does not apply at all.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Rest Days in Massachusetts- Am I Entitled to a Day Off

    Quote Quoting cbg
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    The MA law does not say that you have to have every seventh day off, only that there be one in every seven consecutive days. It is possible to work up to 12 days in a row and still with in compliance with the MA law as written. .
    I don't understand your analysis. How is it possible to comply with the 1 day off in seven when the employee has to work 12 days in a row.

    Section 48: One day of rest in seven; operation of business on Sunday; violations


    Section 48. Every employer of labor engaged in carrying on any manufacturing, mechanical or mercantile establishment or workshop in the commonwealth shall allow every person, except those specified in section fifty, but including watchmen and employees maintaining fires, employed in such manufacturing, mechanical or mercantile establishment or workshop at least twenty-four consecutive hours of rest, which shall include an unbroken period comprising the hours between eight o'clock in the morning and five o'clock in the evening, in every seven consecutive days. No employer shall operate any such manufacturing, mechanical or mercantile establishment or workshop on Sunday unless he has complied with section fifty-one. Whoever violates this section shall be punished by a fine of three hundred dollars.
    Section 50: Work not subject to Sunday work and rest days


    Section 50. Sections forty-seven and forty-eight shall not apply to (a) janitors; (b) employees whose duties include no work on Sunday other than (1) setting sponges in bakeries, (2) caring for live animals, (3) caring for machinery; (c) employees engaged in the preparation, printing, publication, sale or delivery of newspapers; (d) farm or personal service; (e) any labor called for by an emergency that could not reasonably have been anticipated; (f) pharmacists employed in drug stores.



    Quote Quoting cbg
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    Additionally, you have not indicated what industry you are in, but the law in question applies only if you work in a manufacturing, mechanical or mercantile establishment. If you work in any other industry, the law does not apply at all.
    With some exceptions in Section 50.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Rest Days in Massachusetts- Am I Entitled to a Day Off

    Quote Quoting budwad
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    I don't understand your analysis. How is it possible to comply with the 1 day off in seven when the employee has to work 12 days in a row.
    Sun-Mon-Tues-Weds-Thur-Fri-Sat-Sun-Mon-Tues-Weds-Thur-Fri-Sat

    Off on the bold days.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Rest Days in Massachusetts- Am I Entitled to a Day Off

    Week one: Sunday - off, work Monday through Saturday
    Week two; work Sunday through Friday, Saturday off

    Twelve days in a row, but in two consecutive 7 day work weeks there was a full day off in each. I don't have time to look for it now and it was a few years back, but I have seen case law in MA that supported what I just said.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Rest Days in Massachusetts- Am I Entitled to a Day Off

    Aren't you taking just a snippet in time. What about the week before or the week after your 12 day stint. The law was written to ensure that employees had Sunday off. What that evolved into I have not researched yet. But:

    Section 47: Sunday work without a day off


    Section 47. Whoever, except at the request of the employee, requires an employee engaged in any commercial occupation or in the work of any industrial process not subject to the following section or in the work of transportation or communication to do on Sunday the usual work of his occupation, unless he is allowed during the six days next ensuing twenty-four consecutive hours without labor, shall be punished by a fine of not more then three hundred dollars; but this and the following section shall not be construed as allowing any work on Sunday not otherwise authorized by law
    https://malegislature.gov/Laws/Gener...r149/Section47

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Rest Days in Massachusetts- Am I Entitled to a Day Off

    Quote Quoting budwad
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    Aren't you taking just a snippet in time. What about the week before or the week after your 12 day stint. The law was written to ensure that employees had Sunday off. What that evolved into I have not researched yet. But:



    https://malegislature.gov/Laws/Gener...r149/Section47
    In the example provided. There was no Sunday work where the employee was not afforded 24 hours off in the six days next. If you work Sunday, the six days next are Monday through Saturday and that Saturday is not a work day.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Rest Days in Massachusetts- Am I Entitled to a Day Off

    I'm sure you won't accept this, but have a look at the answers from a MA employment law attorney in this thread, particularly the last:

    http://www.laborlawtalk.com/forum/em...-massachusetts

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Rest Days in Massachusetts- Am I Entitled to a Day Off

    Quote Quoting cbg
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    I'm sure you won't accept this, but have a look at the answers from a MA employment law attorney in this thread, particularly the last:

    http://www.laborlawtalk.com/forum/em...-massachusetts
    Budwad is pulling out the law section immediately prior to the one day off in seven section. The example payrolguy wrote out satisfies both section of law.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Rest Days in Massachusetts- Am I Entitled to a Day Off

    Bud is also not taking into consideration that not all employees are subject to the law. Believe me, I worked my share of Sundays (and holidays!) back when I had my second job as a hotel night auditor.

    The MA employment law attorney agrees that the example that PG and I used satisfy the law. That ought to satisfy Bud, except I doubt it will.

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