Stop Wage Theft

An Act to prevent wage theft, promote employer accountability, and enhance public enforcement - H.1868 - S.1158

  • Protects workers from common wage theft violations such as failure to pay wages, failure to pay at least the minimum wage, and failure to abide by overtime laws

  • Protects workers from independent contractor misclassification, ensuring workers are able to receive the benefits they are entitled to

  • Protects workers against retaliation from their employer for reporting violations, and increases the power of the Attorney General's office to enforce wage theft laws

Nearly $700 million in wages are stolen from about 350,000 low-wage workers each year in
Massachusetts.

Wage theft covers a variety of infractions that occur when workers do not receive their legally required or promised wages. Common forms of wage theft are:

  • Non-payment of overtime
  • Not giving workers their last paycheck after a worker leaves a job
  • Not paying for all the hours worked

In today’s economy, where employers increasingly subcontract or outsource core parts of their business to other companies, wage theft has overwhelmed the capacity of our existing labor laws and enforcement mechanics.

This bill would:

  • Increase Responsibility: Holds “lead contractors” accountable for the wage theft violations of their
    subcontractors.
  • Protects Wage Rights: Protects workers from wage theft violations such as failure to make wage payments; failure to abide by minimum wage, prevailing wage and overtime laws; and independent contractor misclassification.
  • Protect Workers against retaliation for reporting wage violations.
  • Improve Government Enforcement: Streamlines the enforcement power of the Attorney General’s office by allowing it to bring wage theft cases directly to court and seek damages on behalf of workers.
  • Allow a Stop Work Order: In cases where there has been a determination of a wage theft violation, the AG will have the power to issue a “Stop Work Order,” which temporarily halts work until the violation is corrected.

Read more here.

the decision makers

Joint Committee on Labor and Workforce Development

Who on committee has co-sponsored:

state senators:

Patricia Jehlengreen check
Patricia Jehlen (D)
Somerville

chair

Jason Lewisgreen check
Jason Lewis (D)
Winchester

chair

Sal DiDomenicogreen check
Sal DiDomenico (D)
Everett
Paul Feeneygreen check
Paul Feeney (D)
Foxborough
Patrick O'Connorgreen check
Patrick O'Connor (R)
Weymouth
John Croningreen check
John Cronin (D)

state representatives:

Josh Cutlerred x
Josh Cutler (D)
Duxbury

chair

Kip Diggsred x
Kip Diggs (D)
Barnstable

chair

Aaron Saundersgreen check
Aaron Saunders (D)
Colleen Garrygreen check
Colleen Garry (D)
Dracut
John Rogersred x
John Rogers (D)
Norwood
Jonathan Zlotnikgreen check
Jonathan Zlotnik (D)
Gardner
Christopher Flanagangreen check
Christopher Flanagan (D)
David Robertsongreen check
David Robertson (D)
Tewksbury
Simon Cataldogreen check
Simon Cataldo (D)
Acton
Donald Wongred x
Donald Wong (R)
Saugus
Michael Soterred x
Michael Soter (R)
Bellingham

Who has co-sponsored:

History of the bill

2025

Feb 2024

Reporting date extended to April 10, 2024

2024

Sep 2023

Joint committee hearing held

Feb 2023

Referred to the Joint Committee on Labor and Workforce Development

Jan 2023

Bill re-filed as H.1868/S.1158

Jan 2023

No further action taken by House Ways and Means

2023

Apr 2022

Redrafted as H.4681, reported favorably by committee, referred to House Ways & Means

Feb 2022

Reporting date extended to April 4th, 2022

2022

Jun 2021

Hearing held by Labor and Workforce Development Committee

Jun 2021

Hearing held by the Labor and Workforce Development Committee

Mar 2021

Referred to the Committee Labor and Workforce Development

Jan 2021

Bill re-filed as H.1959

2021

Oct 2020

Reported favorably and referred to House Ways & Means

2020

May 2019

Hearing held

Jan 2019

Sent to Labor committee

2019

Jul 2018

Bill dies without any action in House Ways & Means

Jun 2018

Passed by Senate unanimously, 38-0

Jun 2018

Favorable Report by Senate Ways & Means

Mar 2018

Favorably reported by Labor committee, sent to Senate Ways & Means

2018

Jan 2017

H.1033 (previous version) sent to Labor committee

2017

Jul 2016

Dies in House Ways & Means committeee after no action

Jul 2016

Passed the Senate 38-2

Jul 2016

Favorable report by Senate Ways & Means

Apr 2016

Favorable report by Labor committee, sent to Senate Ways & Means

2016

Sep 2015

Hearing in Labor committee

Jan 2015

Filed as H.1748

2015

Advocacy Organizations

AFL-CIO