New Jersey Department of Labor Issues the Closure of Boston Market Franchises Across the State

by Laura DeSiena
NJ Boston Market

New Jersey’s Department of Labor and Workforce Development issued stop-work orders for 27 Boston Market restaurants across the state on Tuesday due to numerous worker’s rights violations including failure to pay employee wages, millions of dollars in fines, and a list of other penalties infringing on workers’ rights. 

The order comes after a nine-month-long investigation prompted by a complaint from an employee stationed at the Boston Market at 770 Route 33 in Hamilton, NJ in November 2022. After further examination, it revealed that Boston Market was guilty of over $600,000 in back pay wages for 314 workers, including several reports from employees who did not receive minimum wage compensation or paid sick leave. As a result of such infractions, the company is facing $2.5 million in fines and penalties.  

The NJDOL announced their plans to continue monitoring the locations where stop-work orders are enforced as the mandate is not a life sentence. The order may be lifted if back wages and penalties are paid and returned to employees alongside resolving other issues. However, if business continues as usual in violation of the order, the NJDOL is allowed to allot civil penalties of $5,000 per day.

“With restaurants across the country, Boston Market needs to set a better example for fair treatment of its workers,” stated Joseph Petrecca, Assistant Commissioner of NJDOL’s Division of Wage and Hour and Contract Compliance.

Boston Market has taken a financial hit in the last several years as their once over 1,000 running locations nationwide dwindled to only about 300. They are certainly no strangers to lawsuit troubles as they are also managing a lawsuit of $11.6 million by food supplier US Foods for unpaid bills of purchased produce and other stock. Refrigeration company Polar Leasing is also suing the company for $338,850 in unpaid bills and damages. Additionally, the restaurant chain is currently distributing back pay to franchise locations in Arizona and Massachusetts for the same issue that is occurring in New Jersey. 

Despite many requests for comment, Boston Market has not yet responded publicly to the violation reports. 

For a complete list of Boston Market locations included in this stop-worker order, visit the NJDOL’s official website here

About the Author/s

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Laura DeSiena is a certified Jersey Girl with a passion for music, playing the guitar, and binge-watching 90’s sitcoms. As an aspiring writer and author, she hopes to publish a book someday. When she’s not writing, you can usually find her browsing the shelves of Barnes & Noble in search of her next read.

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