State and Federal Regulators teamed up against company


Your state or city may or may not require your company to provide paid sick leave, but if employees earn the time off, if has to be paid.


The fact tripped up one company in Massachusetts recently. After the state investigated Unwrapped, violations involving unpaid earned sick time came to light.


The Lowell Company also failed to pay minimum wage, the state said.


Worse, the employer retaliated against two workers who cooperated with investigators.


Enter the feds, who participated with the state in a joint investigation. The U.S. Dept. of Labor found the company failed to pay overtime to 327 piece rate and hourly workers, as required by the Fair Labor Standards Act.


The price tag was $890,021 in back wages and liquidated damages, which the company had until March 15, 2017, to turn over to employees – and then submit proof of payment.


What’s the rate of pay?


Massachusetts is one of several dozen areas with paid sick leave laws on the books.


For example, in Massachusetts, you should pay employees the rate they would’ve earned if they’d worked instead of using earned sick time.


But say someone is scheduled to work overtime and calls in sick – you don’t need to pay that person the overtime rate for that time.