Many amusement parks, golf courses, and resorts in Massachusetts employ “seasonal workers” during the summertime. If your employer does qualify as a seasonal employer, it may not have to pay you the overtime rate. But it still must pay you at least minimum wage for all hours you work.
What types of employers use seasonal workers?
All different types of employees can be classified as seasonal. The most common jobs are those at amusement parks, golf courses, and resorts. But even winter employers, such as ski areas, sometimes use the seasonal employer rule.
Am I a seasonal worker?
It depends. Both Massachusetts and federal law contain tests for when a worker can be classified as seasonal. The Massachusetts law is more protective of employees.
Under the Massachusetts law, there is a specific rule for amusement parks. To qualify as an amusement park, the site must contain amusement devices, games, shows or other attractions and operate for less than 150 days a year.
The main Massachusetts rule applies to other types of business. To qualify under this rule, the business must be seasonal in nature and open for less than 120 days a year. A business is seasonal in nature only if it is open for a specific season and closes the facility in the offseason (although maintenance staff can still be employed in the off season).
If my employer qualifies as a seasonal employer, does it still have to pay me minimum wage?
If your employer does qualify as a seasonal employer, it may not have to pay you the overtime rate of time and one half your normal pay. The employer, however, must pay you at least minimum wage (or your normal hourly rate if you earn more than minimum wage) for all hours you work.