Join us for our installment of the Pacesetters Doing Business series featuring Boston Planning and Development Agency on December 7, 2023.
3:00pm - 4:00pm
Jenny Holaday will share her journey into leadership as President of Encore Boston Harbor and first woman to run a casino in Massachusetts.
2:00pm - 4:00pm
Encore Boston Harbor
Step into Winter Wonderland at our BIMA Holiday Gala. Gather your digital media and marketing peers for a night of networking and entertainment.
6:30pm - 9:30pm
Designed for mid-level managers and supervisors, this new certificate program addresses workplace well-being through unique, innovative, and actionable methods.
Join our Transformational DEI Certificate! Our comprehensive learning & development offerings are designed to connect and grow strong leaders who lead both inside and out of the office.
Our Women’s Leadership Program enables you to take your leadership to the next level by arming you with the most in-demand leadership toolkit.
Our Boston’s Future Leaders (BFL) program provides emerging leaders with a socially conscious and civically engaged leadership toolkit, as well as the opportunity to apply their knowledge through experiential assignments.
City Awake empowers young professionals in a variety of ways that encourages these rising leaders to stay invested in the region’s future success.
We are developing an ecosystem of corporations and partners with the influence and buying power to transform economic inclusion for minority business enterprises (MBEs).
The Fierce Urgency of Now Festival brings Boston’s diverse young professionals together with business leaders, organizations and their peers to build connection, advance careers and ignite positive change.
BIMA (the Boston Interactive Media Association) serves a vibrant community of like-minded professionals from agencies, brands, publishers, and ad-tech companies with business interests in the New England market.
For nearly 30 years, the Chamber’s Women’s Network has connected female professionals of all background and career levels. Today, our Women’s Network is the largest in New England, strengthening the professional networks of women each year.
The Massachusetts Apprentice Network convenes employers, training providers, and talent sources interested in developing and implementing apprenticeship programs in occupations across industries and statewide in fields such as tech, advanced manufacturing, healthcare, financial services, and more.
We support small business through public policy initiatives, events designed to connect small businesses in Greater Boston to their peers and established business leaders, professional development offerings, and free small business advising.
Explore our mission and values to better understand how we are leading the business community forward.
Our member directory is your resource to discover, connect, and engage with Boston’s businesses from every industry and sector.
September 26th, 2023
Dear Chair Cutler and Chair Jehlen,
On behalf of the Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce and our 1,200 members, I write to offer testimony in support of H.1944 and S.1182, An Act clarifying the process for paying wages of dismissed employees. This legislation addresses the negative consequences resulting from the Supreme Judicial Court’s decision in Reuter v. City of Methuen, No. SJC-13121 (Mass. April 4, 2022). The Reuter decision upended decades of legal precedent governing the award of damages from alleged violations of the Wage Act for terminated employees and exposes employers to significant litigation costs for inadvertent, unavoidable, or good faith payroll delays. For the reasons outlined below, the Chamber supports the changes in H.1944 and S.1182 and urges the committee to give both bills a favorable report.
In Massachusetts, employers must pay terminated employees the wages owed to them, including accrued vacation, on the day their employment concludes. However, longstanding precedent ensured that terminated employees that received due wages prior to any lawsuit were only entitled to treble damages on the amount of interest on wages that an employee would have earned, given there is no other injury to the worker.
The 2022 Reuter decision overturned that precedent, and the Court determined that terminated employees are entitled to treble damages for due wages if the employer does not pay the employee immediately on the last day of employment. In this case, an employee was terminated after a felony conviction, and received payment for accrued vacation time 3 weeks after that termination. Under such circumstances, this interpretation of the law puts employers in a tremendously difficult position when terminating employees immediately for misconduct or during inadvertent payroll outages or delays, as the Court mentions itself in the Reuters decision.
H.1944 and S.1182 create a 15-day right to cure upon receiving a written demand letter to recover unpaid employment-based compensation from an employer. Employers would not be subject to treble damages or attorney’s fees if the employer pays any deficiency in compensation within the 15-day window or if the delay is due to a good faith miscalculation, error, or reliance on erroneous information from a third party. These provisions allow responsible employers to ensure any terminated worker receives earned compensation in a timely manner while also reserving the significant penalty of treble damages for employers that violate the Wage Act in bad faith. The bill creates a reasonable balance between protecting workers and ensuring employers can accurately and promptly calculate and pay terminated employees without risking undue massive payouts and litigation.
The bill also allows Courts to determine on a case-by-case basis whether employers acted in good faith or otherwise had reasonable grounds for believing an act or omission was not a violation of the Wage Act. In these circumstances, a Court may decide that treble damages are not warranted. This proposal would allow Courts to consider the facts and circumstances of each case and differentiate between responsible and bad faith employers. We urge the committee to give these bills a favorable report at its earliest convenience.
James E. Rooney
President and CEO
Download the letter