Somerset Boston Market Among Those Shut Down By State Labor Department

SHUT DOWN – Stop work orders were posted on the doors of the Boston Market on Easton Avenue. The restaurant was one of 27 locations issued the orders.

The Boston Market on Easton Avenue was one of 27 New Jersey locations shut down by the state labor department August 14 for a variety of alleged wage violations.

In an August 15 statement, the state Department of Labor alleged that the 27 locations owed more than $600,000 to 314 employees.

NJDOL investigators have found $607,471 in back wages owed to 314 workers, as well as $1,214,942 in liquidated damages. Boston Chicken of NJ was also assessed an administrative fee of $182,241.30 and $549,500 in administrative penalties, for a total of $2,554,154.30, according to the release.

Stop work notices posted on the doors of the Somerset restaurant, located in the Somerset Village shopping plaza, state that the orders were failure to comply with regulations covering:

  • Unpaid wages
  • Paying minimum wage
  • Failure to pay sick leave
  • Sick leave record keeping
  • Hindering the investigation
  • Record keeping

The order notes that a fine of $5,000 per day could be assessed to the business owner for failure to abide by the stop work order.

Boston Market has requested a hearing to appeal the order, according to the release. The DOL has seven days in which to schedule the hearing.

“With restaurants across the country, Boston Market needs to set a better example for fair treatment of its workers,” Joseph Petrecca, Assistant Commissioner of NJDOL’s Division of Wage and Hour and Contract Compliance, said in the release. “Thanks to the Murphy Administration, NJDOL has the tools to carry out large-scale enforcement efforts within the state so we can work with employers to stop worker exploitation, create sustainable change, and prevent future violations.” 

The issue arose after the NJDOL’s Division of Wage and Hour and Contract Compliance received a complaint in November 2022 about a Boston Market in Hamilton. Nearly three dozen complaints have been filed since then, according to the release.

Initial findings of the investigation were sent to parent company Boston Chicken of NJ, LLC d/b/a Boston Market headquartered in Golden, Colo., to C.E.O. Jignesh Pandya of Newtown, Pa., and to the registered agent of the company at Princeton South Corporate Center in Ewing, according to the release.

The stop-work order may be lifted if and when any remaining back wages and penalties have been paid and all related issues have been resolved, according to the release.

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