• Massachusetts Blue Laws: What you need to know

    Blue Laws can impact your plans to get holiday shopping done on Thanksgiving. Here are some common questions about the Blue Laws MyFoxBoston.com has answered.

    What are Blue Laws?

    Blue Laws were originally established in the United States to prevent so-called "moral offenses," such as gambling and drinking alcohol. Years after they were created, the Blue Laws changed to prohibit businesses from operating on Sunday.

    Presently, Blue Laws restrict businesses from opening up on days that are considered holidays. Some businesses, such as restaurants, pharmacies and hotels, are exempt from these laws and may operate on Sundays and holidays without a permit.

    In Massachusetts, some holidays are partially restricted and businesses may still operate without a permit. To learn more about partially restricted holidays, visit: mass.gov.

    *Under Massachusetts law, if a permit is granted, time and one-half pay and voluntariness of employment requirements do apply.
    How do Blue Laws impact my Black Friday plan?

    Other than the aforementioned exempt businesses, Massachusetts Blue Laws restrict any business to operate on Thanksgiving Day. Although multiple stores throughout the country have said they will open up earlier on Thanksgiving Day for Black Friday deals, Massachusetts is not included in those promotions. Stores in Massachusetts will remain closed all day on Thanksgiving, even if that store has a national advertisement saying they will open Thursday. Stores in other states may be allowed to operate earlier than this, but all stores in Massachusetts are not able to open again until midnight, or once Thanksgiving is officially over.
    Will I still be able to get deals in Massachusetts even if the stores open later?

    Yes. The Blue Laws don't impact the deals offered at many popular department stores, they just impact when you'll be able to begin receiving those deals. To see a list of Black Friday deals, visit: http://www.myfoxboston.com/story/23890849/holiday-shopping-deals-2013
    What if I don't want to wait until 12 a.m. to begin my Black Friday shopping?

    For those looking to begin their Black Friday shopping a day earlier, stores in New Hampshire and Connecticut will open on Thanksgiving to accommodate bargain-hungry shoppers. States nearby do not follow the same Blue Laws as Massachusetts and allow retailers to open up on Thanksgiving.

    If you do not want to make the drive, you can also check out deals on store websites. Many stores have posted their Black Friday deals online to allow shoppers to get their deals straight from home. Although stores do not open until midnight on Black Friday in Massachusetts, you will still be able to purchase the same products with the Black Friday deals from their website.

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