• Paul Peter Nicolai

Wage Act Claims Against Company Officials Dismissed

Updated: Aug 13, 2020

A Massachusetts federal court judge dismissed Wage Act claims brought by a Massachusetts employee against the President and Treasurer of a company headquartered in North Carolina. The company employs about 25,000 people around the world including in Massachusetts. The President rarely visited the Massachusetts office and held quarterly telephone conferences with Massachusetts personnel. The Treasurer had never visited the Massachusetts office. The court held that a Massachusetts court lacked personal jurisdiction over the two individual defendants.

The employee argued the President and Treasurer should be subject to personal jurisdiction in Massachusetts because the Wage Act imposes individual liability on them. In other words, the court should have jurisdiction purely on account of their officer status.

The court rejected this argument.

WHY THIS IS IMPORTANT…The Massachusetts Supreme Court has consistently applied the Wage Act in employee’s favor over the years. It would not be surprising to see conflicting decisions on this issue if that court weighs in. Meanwhile, individuals in this situation would have to be sued in their home state.

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