The general laws at section 150 of chapter 149 is hereby amended at the second paragraph to add the number “27” before the number “33E” and by adding as a new third paragraph the following:
“Private Attorney General Action Option”
(a) Sections 27, 27F-H, 148, 148A, 152A, and 150 of chapter 149 and section 1B or chapter 151, sections 1B, are hereby amended by removing the word “treble” and replacing it with the word “double”. Such amendment shall remain in effect while the language that follows in subsection (b) remains in effect and unchanged by any court decision or ruling. In the event that the language below is not in effect or is changed by any court decision or ruling deeming subsection (b), or any part of it, as invalid or unenforceable for any reason whatsoever then this amendment shall cease and the word “treble” shall be deemed returned to such chapters and sections replacing the word “double”.
(b) In addition to the above and all other available remedies, any person claiming to be aggrieved by a violation of sections 26, 27, 27A-H, 148, 148A, 148B, 150 or 152A of chapter 149 or sections 1, 1A, 1B or 19 of chapter 151 shall be entitled to bring an action on behalf of the Commonwealth against an employer that violates sections 26, 27, 27A-H, 148, 148B, 150 or 152A of chapter 149 or sections 1, 1A, 1B or 19 of chapter 151. A civil action filed under this section shall be deemed a private attorney general action. The representative nature of such an action on behalf of the Commonwealth is not waivable. There is no need for the employee to satisfy class certification requirements in order to bring such an action, as well as in any portion of the employee’s wage action under chapter 149 that also includes a claim under this section, so long as there is at least a common question of law or fact among a group of two or more employees. The person filing such an action shall provide a copy of the complaint, within 10 days of the filing to the attorney general. If the employee prevails, the employee shall recover penalties, for each violation of law, in the amount of $50 per pay period per affected employee. Two-thirds of these penalties will be for the Commonwealth and one-third of these penalties will be for the employee or employees on whose behalf the action is instituted. In addition, the employee may bring on behalf of the Commonwealth a claim for injunctive and declaratory relief and shall also be awarded the costs of the litigation and reasonable attorneys’ fees. If the court finds, within 120 days from the date the action was originally filed, that such action was filed frivolously, the court may award two times the amount of attorney fees and costs incurred by the defendant, in addition to any other remedy or penalty the court may impose.
(c)The superior court shall have jurisdiction to hear such action described in subsection (b), and the employee’s accompanying actions if any, regardless as to the amount in controversy.
The information contained in this website is for general information purposes only. The General Court provides this information as a public service and while we endeavor to keep the data accurate and current to the best of our ability, we make no representations or warranties of any kind, express or implied, about the completeness, accuracy, reliability, suitability or availability with respect to the website or the information contained on the website for any purpose. Any reliance you place on such information is therefore strictly at your own risk.