Massachusetts AG fines Boston Market $100k over wage and hour violations

The state’s attorney general cited the struggling company’s failure to timely pay wages or provide accurate payroll records.
Boston Market
Boston Market has been closing locations across the country. | Photo by Lisa Jennings.

The Massachusetts attorney general on Friday said it has issued $104,000 in citations to Boston Market over delayed payments to workers and failure to provide accurate payroll records.

The attorney general’s Fair Labor Division received several complaints from workers who said they didn’t receive their wages. More complaints continued to come in after the agency launched an investigation.

State law says that workers must be paid within six days of the end of the pay period.

“Boston Market repeatedly denied their employees timely payment of wages, which workers and their families depend on for economic security and stability,” Attorney General Andrea Joy Campbell said in a statement.

Massachusetts is the second state to issue penalties to the rotisserie chicken chain over wage and hour issues. New Jersey’s Department of Labor last year fined Boston Market $2.6 million, temporarily closing 27 locations in the state in the process.  

The U.S. Department of Labor is also investigating the company over wage and hour violations.

The investigations come amid a host of complaints and lawsuits over delayed or unpaid wages at Boston Market. Employees have filed lawsuits in several states against the company over the issue and numerous reports in Restaurant Business and other publications have featured comments from employees who accused the chain of not paying wages.

The Massachusetts citations also come as Boston Market has closed stores—it has closed as many as 200 locations over the past year, mostly after landlords evicted the company over unpaid leases.

Boston Market has been sued at least 140 times since 2020 in various state and federal courts, most of them over unpaid bills. That includes a lawsuit by US Foods alleging the company didn’t pay for distribution services.

The distributor has asked a federal judge for a default judgment in that case, which would award US Foods nearly $12 million. That request is still pending.

Jay Pandya, who bought Boston Market in 2020, filed for personal bankruptcy last year. A bankruptcy court judge dismissed that filing earlier this month after Pandya didn’t provide insurance information on a pair of rental properties.

Boston Market earlier this month announced plans to let anyone open one of its locations, with no up-front franchise fees or other requirements, inside an existing convenience store or other business.

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