What are my rights to be paid for work that I perform?

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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What are my rights to be paid for work that I perform?

I work 2 jobs; 1 full-time for 40 hours a week and 1 bartending 1 night a week and running trivia the other night. I have been bartending for 10 years there and running trivia for 7. I have not gotten paid a check or wages for any of the time worked 40ish weeks a year X 7 years, plus the time it takes me to come up with the questions for the trivia. I do get a few drinks on the house while i’m doing it but that’s all. I mentioned i wanted to get a fair wage for doing the trivia, however the owner will not pay me. If I

Asked on September 21, 2018 under Employment Labor Law, Massachusetts


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

If you are paid a salary, then the weekly salary is your only pay for all work you do for this employer.
If paid an hourly wage, you must be paid for all hours worked for this employer, whether it's one job or task or set of duties or another, and must be paid overtime for all time worked in a week past 40 hours. If you are hourly and have not been paid for all work done, you could file a complaint with the department of labor or file a lawsuit against the employer. You could potentially get back wages and overtime for the time you can prove you worked. Note that you generally cannot go more than two years back on a wage claim, however, so you won't be able to recover for all 7 years.
If you refuse to do work that the employer wants, you may be fired; if you don't have a written employment contract, you are an "employee at will" and may be fired at any time, for any reason.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although AttorneyPages.com has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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