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Wednesday, January 10, 2018

BROCKTON COMPANY TO PAY NEARLY $500,000 FOR NOT PAYING WORKERS MINUMUM WAGE, OVERTIME

BROCKTON COMPANY TO PAY NEARLY $500,000 FOR NOT PAYING WORKERS MINUMUM WAGE, OVERTIME
50 Employees to Receive Restitution of up to $15,000 through AG Settlement

            BOSTON – A Brockton warehouse and related transportation company, which package and deliver products to local restaurants, agreed to pay more than $460,000 to resolve intentional minimum wage, overtime, and record keeping violations, Attorney General Maura Healey announced today. As a result, approximately 50 employees will receive restitution averaging thousands of dollars for each. 

In a settlement with the AG’s Office, New England Market, LLC and owner ZhiQing Wang have agreed to pay more than $393,000 for alleged violations including intentional failure to pay minimum wage, overtime, and keep true and accurate records, with workers receiving more than $8,600 in restitution on average.

Foodland Distribution, LLC and owner BuYing You have agreed to pay more than $75,000 for alleged violations including intentional failure to pay minimum wage and keep true and accurate records, and workers will receive approximately $3,000 in restitution on average. 

“This company cheated its workers out of hundreds of thousands of dollars and paid well below minimum wage,” AG Healey said. “We brought this action to ensure that these workers are treated fairly and receive the wages they earned.”

New England Market, a warehouse in Brockton, and Foodland Distribution, which provides transportation for New England Market, are owned by the same family and are functionally operated as one establishment.

An investigation by the AG’s Fair Labor Division revealed that there was a systemic underpayment of minimum wage to workers at both companies, and in the case of New England Market, overtime as well.

Investigators also found that the companies were lacking both accurate time records and complete payroll records. In response to a payroll demand, the companies provided deficient paperwork which lacked both contemporaneous timekeeping records and complete payroll records. None of the records matched up and some appeared to have been fabricated. 

AG Healey’s Fair Labor Division is responsible for enforcing state laws regulating the payment of wages, including prevailing wage, minimum wage and overtime laws.

Workers who believe that their rights have been violated in their workplace are encouraged to file a complaint at www.mass.gov/ago/fairlaborFor information about the state’s wage and hour laws,workers may call the Office’s Fair Labor Hotline at (617) 727-3465 or go to the Attorney General’s new Workplace Rights website www.mass.gov/ago/fairlabor for materials in multiple languages.
This matter was handled by Assistant Attorney General Amy Goyer and Supervising Investigator Jennifer Pak of Attorney General Healey’s Fair Labor Division