For Immediate Release - June 25, 2009

Boston Sports Club Pays $40,000 Fine for Violating Massachusetts Child Labor Laws

BOSTON - A New York-based fitness company and its president have been cited over $40,000 in penalties for violating the Massachusetts Child Labor laws. Town Sports International, Inc., doing business in Massachusetts as Boston Sports Club, and its president, Alexander A. Alimanestianu, age 50, of Larchmont, New York, have paid a $40,000 fine to the Commonwealth for over 1,600 child labor violations at 23 fitness facilities owned or operated by the company throughout the Commonwealth.

In March 2008, the Attorney General's Office began an investigation after the office's Fair Labor Division received a complaint alleging violations of Massachusetts Child Labor Laws at the Boston Sports Club in Waltham. After the company conducted a self-audit, investigators reviewed the self-audit and the company's payroll records at the Massachusetts locations and discovered numerous violations including minors working:

  • before and after permissible hours;
  • more than the maximum hours per day and per week; and
  • without a work permit.

The citation required the company to pay a $15,000 fine for violations where minors were working before and after permissible hours. Boston Sports Club also paid a $15,000 fine for employing minors over the maximum daily and weekly hours permissible. Another $10,000 fine was paid by the company for the violations relating to employment of minors without work permits.

Boston Sports Club fully cooperated with the Attorney General's investigation. The company has also undertaken several measures to ensure compliance with the Massachusetts Wage and Hour laws including making changes in the process of hiring minors, changes in personnel management and record keeping, and the institution of child labor law training programs for all employees.

The Massachusetts Child Labor Laws include restrictions on both the occupations in which minors may be employed, as well as the hours during which they may work. The laws also require employers to ensure that minors have proper work permits prior to beginning work, and that employers post all minors' work schedules in the workplace. Further information on the Massachusetts Child Labor Laws can be found at the Attorney General's youth employment website, www.laborlowdown.com, and at the Attorney General's website, www.mass.gov/ago, in the Workplace Rights section under Youth Employment. Those wishing to report violations of the Commonwealth's Wage and Hour laws can contact the Attorney General's Fair Labor Hotline at (617) 727-3465.

The matter was handled by Assistant Attorney General Thomas Johnson with assistance from Inspectors Edward Minchello and Iona Powell-Headley, all of Attorney General Coakley's Fair Labor Division.

##########