Remote’s guide to employing in

Massachusetts
massachusetts flag

Make employment in Massachusetts easy. Let us handle payroll, benefits, taxes, compliance, and even stock options for your team in Massachusetts, all in one easy-to-use platform.

  • Capital City

    Boston

  • Currency

    United States Dollar ($, USD)

  • Population size

    70,00,000

Services available in this country:
Employer of Record ProductPayrollContractor Management
Skyline of boston with historic and modern buildings at dusk, featuring the custom house tower and faneuil hall under a colorful sky.

Facts & Stats

A traditional wooden house with an american flag hanging between two windows adorned with red flowers, on an overcast day.
  • Capital City

    Boston

  • Currency

    United States Dollar ($, USD)

  • Population size

    70,00,000

  • VAT - standard rate

    6%

From the historic streets of Boston to the serene shores of Cape Cod, Massachusetts is a state that regularly marries past with present — creating a unique blend of culture and innovation.

As the cradle of US academia (Boston alone is home to both Harvard and MIT), the Bay State is a global hub for education and research. It's also home to a flourishing tech and healthcare sector, making it a prime destination for job seekers and businesses alike.

Grow your team in Massachusetts with Remote

If you want to hire in Massachusetts, you’ll need to own a legal entity there — or partner with a global employment solutions provider, like Remote.  

We can employ top talent in Massachusetts on your behalf and manage complex HR tasks such as onboarding, payroll, benefits, and taxes. You can also manage and pay your contractors in Massachusetts through Remote.

Risks of misclassification

Massachusetts, like many other countries, treats self-employed individuals or contractors and full-time employees differently. Misclassification of contractors in Massachusetts may lead to fines and penalties for the offending company.

Panoramic view of a city at dusk featuring a brightly lit suspension bridge, skyscrapers, and bustling traffic.

Employing in Massachusetts

In Massachusetts, workers’ rights are protected by numerous employment and labour laws, at both the state and federal level. As a result, employees enjoy protection from discrimination based on age, religion, sexual orientation, gender, and race.

Here are the key things you need to know about hiring in Massachusetts.

Hours of work in Massachusetts

Work and overtime laws in Massachusetts are overseen by the Attorney General’s Fair Labour Division.

What is considered full-time employment in Massachusetts?

Full-time employment is generally considered to be between 30 and 40 hours per week, although there is no set legal definition.

Do pay employees get overtime in Massachusetts?

Under the federal Fair Labour Standards Act, non-exempt employees are entitled to overtime pay of 1.5x their regular pay rate if they work more than 40 hours in a week.

Employees are generally (but not always) exempt from overtime if they:

  • Earn more than the specified state or federal exemption threshold

  • Perform a role with duties that are considered executive or managerial

  • Work in a certified or licensed profession, such as law, accounting, architecture, or engineering

In Massachusetts, the pay threshold for exemption is currently $684 per week, which is the federal minimum.

Note that the federal pay threshold for exemption is currently being reviewed in the US.

Minimum wage in Massachusetts

The minimum state wage for private sector employees is currently $15 per hour.

Onboarding timeline in Massachusetts

We can help you get your new employee started in Massachusetts fast, with a minimum onboarding time (MOT) of just 2 working days. Note that the MOT is dependent upon registration with the local authorities, and begins after the employee has submitted all the required information on the Remote platform.

For non-citizens of the US, a work eligibility assessment may be required, and can add three extra days to the onboarding time. If a follow-up is needed, there may be additional delays.

Please note that payroll cut-off dates can impact the actual first day of employment. Remote’s payroll cut-off date is the 10th of the month, unless otherwise specified.

Payroll cycle in Massachusetts

Under state law, salaried employees must be paid at least twice per month, although you can make monthly payments if the employee agrees.

For Remote customers, employee payments are made twice per month in equal instalments, payable in arrears. The first payment is made on the 15th of the month and the second payment is made on the final day of the month. If relevant, bonus payments, commissions, and expense reimbursements are included in the second payment of the cycle.

Competitive benefits package in Massachusetts

Remote can help you craft a competitive benefits package to attract and retain the best global talent. Our benefits experts understand the trends, requirements, and expectations of the Massachusetts labour market, allowing your employees to feel appreciated and thrive.

Our benefits packages in Massachusetts usually include some or all of the following:

  • Pension or 401(K)

  • Medical Insurance

  • Vision Insurance

  • Health Saving Plan (HSA)

  • Long term disability insurance (LTD)

  • Dental Insurance

  • Life Insurance

  • Flexible Spending Account (FSA)

Are employers required to provide health insurance in Massachusetts?

Under the federal Affordable Care Act, organisations with a headcount of 50 or more must offer statutory health insurance to their full-time employees.

Many employers also offer some level of supplemental health insurance. While this can lead to a relative rise in employment costs, it’s an essential benefit that ensures your people have access to routine care and are covered in the event of an emergency. 

Because Remote is the employer of record (EOR), it’s important for us to offer the same core benefits to all employees to ensure fair and non-discriminatory hiring practices. This protects both your business and ours.

Note that we do not add a markup on any benefits premiums or administration costs.

Are employers required to offer 401k in Massachusetts?

The state is currently in the process of mandating qualified savings plans for private sector employees.

Under this legislation, you will need to enrol your employees into the Massachusetts Secure Choice Retirement Savings Plan (or another recognised retirement plan).

Details of the plan — including eligibility requirements — are due to be released soon.

Taxes in Massachusetts

Employment taxes and statutory fees affect both your payroll and your employees’ paychecks in Massachusetts.


Employer taxes

Employment Tax

6%

Federal unemployment insurance tax (FUTA) (charged on the first $7,000 an employee earns per year)

0.56% to 8.62%

State unemployment insurance tax (SUTA)

6.2%

FICA (Social security)

1.45%

FICA (Medicare)

Employee taxes

Payroll Tax

10% to 37%

Federal income tax

5%

State income tax

6.2%

FICA (Social security)

1.45%

FICA (Medicare)

Types of leave

Holiday

In Massachusetts, there is no state or federal law that requires employers to provide paid or unpaid holiday leave to their employees.

However, many employers offer 10 days of paid leave after the first year of employment.

Sick leave

Under state law, employers with 11 or more employees must provide paid sick leave. Employees with fewer than 11 employees must provide unpaid sick leave.

Under the state’s Earned Sick Time Law, eligible employees accrue one hour of paid sick leave for every 30 hours worked (up to a maximum of 40 hours’ paid leave).

Under the state’s Paid Family and Medical Leave (PFML) program, employees are also entitled to up to 20 weeks’ paid medical leave for serious illnesses.

Can an employer deny sick time in Massachusetts?

No. Employees who are ineligible under state law are protected by federal law. Under the federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), eligible employees are entitled to up to 12 weeks of unpaid sick leave per year, provided they:

Have worked for the same employer for at least 12 months

Work in a location where at least 50 people are employed by the company within a 75-mile radius

Parental and maternity leave

Under the PFML program, employees are entitled to up to 12 weeks’ paid parental leave. 

Under the FMLA, employees are also entitled to up to 12 weeks of unpaid maternity or paternity leave. Some organisations opt to pay a reduced pay during this period.

Bereavement leave

Employers are not legally required to provide bereavement leave to their employees, although most organisations offer unpaid leave.

Jury duty

Employees must report for jury duty if summoned (unless exempt). Jurors are typically on call for two weeks.

Do employers have to pay for jury duty in Massachusetts?

Private sector employers must provide full pay for the first three days, as well as provide unpaid leave for the remainder of the duty. This applies to full-time and part-time employees.

Military leave

Under federal law, employers must grant leave to employees who are members of the military or the National Guard for military duty or training.

These employees have the right to take time off for their military obligations, and employers are prohibited from discriminating against them based on their military service.

Veterans are also entitled to time off for Memorial Day and Veterans’ Day (whether this is paid or unpaid is at the discretion of the employer).

Employment termination

Termination process

Like nearly all US states, Massachusetts is an at-will state. This means both employers and employees can end the employment relationship without reason, provided it is legal.

Remote’s legal experts can help you navigate terminations to ensure employees are only let go fairly, negating any potential legal complications.

Notice period

Employers and employees are not required to provide notice of termination, unless otherwise stated in the employment contract.

Despite this, it's usually customary for employees to provide two weeks' notice when leaving an organisation.


Severance pay

Employers are not legally required to provide severance pay (unless it is stipulated in the employee's contract or in the company policy).

However, upon termination, employers must pay any accrued but unused holiday time.

Probation periods

There is no requirement to provide a probation period for employees, although many companies implement internal probation policies. These policies typically involve a formal performance evaluation after a specified period, such as three or six months.