Following a statewide labor investigation, 27 New Jersey Boston Market locations have reopened after the New Jersey Department of Labor procured more than $630,000 in backpay for 314 workers. The company was issued 27 stop-work orders last month and fined nearly $2.6 million for multiple instances of labor violations, including unpaid/late payment of wages, hindrance of the investigation, failure to pay minimum wage, records violations, failure to pay earned sick leave, and failure to maintain records for earned sick leave. Following the wage repayment, the stop-work orders were lifted.
“We’re glad this investigation resulted in every dollar making it into the pockets of those who earned the money,” labor commissioner Robert Asaro-Angelo said in a statement. “Hopefully this action puts other bad actors on notice: ‘if you don't pay your workers, we will shut you down.’"
According to the New Jersey Department of Labor, the investigation was initiated by a complaint that was received by the department last November from a Boston Market worker at in Hamilton Township in Mercer County. Since then, the department has received dozens of additional complaints naming multiple other New Jersey Boston Market locations in violation of labor law.
This case was just the latest chapter in the continuously unfolding story of Boston Market’s legal and financial troubles: the rotisserie chicken chain’s owner — Engage Brands under the Rohan Group of Companies, led by Jay Pandya — faces hundreds of lawsuits from vendors, franchisors, and employees regarding unpaid bills, including the most expensive lawsuit filed by food distributor, US Foods, which sued Boston Market for $11.3 million in unpaid bills in July.
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