September 29, 2022

Attorney General to Conduct Restaurant Oversight & Education Visits in October


RAM restaurant members of all types and sizes should be aware that investigators from the Attorney General’s Office (AGO) will be visiting restaurants across the state throughout the month of October in an effort to educate employers and employees as to their rights and obligations under the state’s Wage & Hour laws.  While the specific focus of visits is unknown, the AGO has authority over laws pertaining to minimum wage, overtime, payment of wages, gender pay equity, sick time, meal breaks, child labor laws, temporary worker protections, recordkeeping and more.
The visits have been presented by the AGO as an educational effort, rather than an enforcement action.  Investigators are expected to interview  management and employees alike, and will make available educational materials for both employers (labor law posters) and employees (worker’s rights notifications in a variety of different languages).  Restaurant owners should also be prepared to share with the investigators sample job applications.  This is likely intended to provide insight into compliance with the Massachusetts Equal Pay Act, which among other things, prohibits employers from seeking the salary or wage history of any prospective employee before making an offer that includes compensation. 
Regardless of the AGO’s stated intent, RAM strongly suggests that all restaurant members visit the AGO’s website to refresh their understanding of applicable laws and guidance materials issued by that office.  This should include a review the AGO’s list of Required Massachusetts Workplace Posters to ensure compliance with employee notification and posting requirements.  Particular attention should be given to the AGO’s Wage and Hour Poster, which covers most of the state Wage & Hour Laws.

State Reduces Paid Family and Medical Leave Contribution Rate for 2023

 Most Massachusetts employers must make payroll withholdings on behalf of their workforce to comply with the state Paid Family and Medical Leave (PFML) law.  The rate of contribution for the program is determined annually by the Department of Family and Medical Leave (DFML).  DFML has announced that effective January 1, 2023, the contribution rate on eligible employee wages will be reduced to .63%.   To learn more about PFML employer contribution rates and access a contribution calculator please click here.  


State Announces $2.5 Million in New Grant Funding for Greener Commercial Refrigeration Equipment

This new program provides financial incentives for retail food businesses, food banks, and nonprofit organizations to install more climate-friendly commercial refrigeration equipment and permanent refrigerant leak detection systems.  MassDEP will accept applications through February 3, 2023.  For more information visit