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e-Alert: Massachusetts Phases Out Premium Pay for Retail Employees

By September 7, 2021No Comments


In 2018, Governor Charlie Baker signed the Grand Bargain Act into effect. This Act was established to address the minimum wage, premium pay mandates, paid family medical leave, and tax holidays within the State of Massachusetts. In 2021, the Act was amended to include the remaining federal holidays as part of the phaseout for premium pay mandates.


Retail employers in Massachusetts have been mandated to pay time and a half to their employees on Sundays and federal holidays. The Grand Bargain Act established a schedule to phase out this mandate as follows:

Effective Date:

Premium Pay:

January 1, 2019 1.4 times hourly rate
January 1, 2020 1.3 times hourly rate
January 1, 2021 1.2 times hourly rate
January 1, 2022 1.1 times hourly rate
January 1, 2023 1.0 times hourly rate

This schedule originally impacted the following holidays:

  • Sundays
  • Memorial Day
  • Labor Day
  • Juneteenth Independence Day
  • Independence Day

The 2021 amendment has added the following holidays to the schedule:

  • New Year’s Day
  • Veterans Day
  • Columbus Day

Employers Next Steps

  • Employers should review their current payroll rules to make sure they align with the amended phaseout schedule.
  • If you are a Full-Service or Virtual HR client and would like our assistance with updating your policy, please email us.

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This content is provided with the understanding that HR Knowledge is not rendering legal advice. While every effort is made to provide current information, the law changes regularly and laws may vary depending on the state or municipality. The material is made available for informational purposes only and is not a substitute for legal advice or your professional judgment. You should review applicable laws in your jurisdiction and consult experienced counsel for legal advice. If you have any questions regarding this content, please contact HR Knowledge at 508.339.1300 or email us.