Statewide action against 27 Boston Market locations results in recompense for 314 workers and shines a light on systemic wage issues.
The New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development (NJDOL) has recouped more than $630,000 in unpaid wages for 314 Boston Market employees across the state. This follows a series of complaints that led to an extensive investigation by the NJDOL’s Division of Wage and Hour Compliance.
- Who: The NJDOL took action to protect 314 Boston Market employees.
- What: More than $630,000 in unpaid wages was recovered.
- When: The investigation started last November after a complaint from an employee in Hamilton Township.
- Where: The action impacted 27 Boston Market locations across New Jersey.
- Why: Employees were not receiving their due wages, with violations including failure to pay minimum wage and earned sick leave.
- How: The NJDOL issued stop-work orders, shuttering affected locations until all back pay was distributed.
Cathy Grimes, a manager at a Boston Market in East Hanover, stated, “What surprised me was how very attentive everyone we dealt with at NJDOL was, and how cared for and respected we felt.”
Grimes and her coworkers received about $15,000 in back wages.
Labor Commissioner Robert Asaro-Angelo said, "Stories like Cathy’s are exactly the reason Governor Murphy and our legislators empowered our department to issue stop-work orders against employers that are seemingly willfully operating in bad faith."
The investigation was initiated after a complaint from a Boston Market worker at 770 Route 33 in Hamilton Township, Mercer County. Soon after, nearly three dozen additional complaints were received, naming several other New Jersey Boston Market locations. Subsequent findings led to the issuing of stop-work orders for 27 Boston Market locations across the state. These orders were lifted only after employees received their back pay.
The findings have been sent to the parent company Boston Chicken of NJ, LLC, also known as Boston Market, headquartered in Golden, Colorado. Further financial penalties, including liquidated damages and fees, may be imposed by the NJDOL.
For anyone interested in worker rights in New Jersey, further information is available at MyWorkRights.nj.gov.
The outcome of this investigation serves as a clear message to employers: violating worker rights will not be tolerated, and full accountability will be pursued.