For Immediate Release - October 08, 2010

AG Coakley's Office Reaches Agreement with Two Companies to Pay Over $100,000 to Settle Allegations of Wage Law Violations

Companies Employed Workers Working at TD Garden

BOSTON - Attorney General Martha Coakley's Office has reached an agreement with Massachusetts Sportservice, Inc. (Sportservice) and its affiliate company, Delaware North Companies, Inc.-Boston (Delaware North) to settle allegations that the companies failed to pay over $70,000 in wages and failed to provide an adequate system to ensure that employees were paid for unused meal breaks.

"Employers have an obligation to ensure that their employees are compensated for all work performed, including unused meal breaks" said Attorney General Martha Coakley. "We are pleased to have reached an agreement with Delaware North and Sportservice that compensates employees for improper deductions and ensures compliance with the law going forward."

In May 2008, the AG's Fair Labor Division received multiple labor complaints from employees of both companies. The complaints from Sportservice employees alleged deductions of a half hour of pay for unused meal breaks and inadvertent deductions from wages for employee union dues. The complaints from employees of Delaware North claimed that the company failed to pay wages for vacation earned prior to termination. The AG's Office requested further payroll documents relating to the deductions from both companies. The companies cooperated fully with the investigation and provided the necessary records. Investigators reviewed the records and discovered that there were in fact automatic deductions taken from the checks of employees working over six hours. The records failed to show instances where the employee had not received the statutorily mandated meal breaks. Although the companies each deny any wrongdoing, they both reached agreements with the Attorney General's Office to resolve the complaints.

Under the terms of the agreement, Sportservice agreed to (1) pay over 330 employees a share of $50,000 to cover alleged unpaid meal breaks, (2) document the $1680.75 paid for union deductions from employees checks due to pay corrections from January 1, 2007 to the date of the agreement, (3) enter into a compliance plan to ensure compliance with Massachusetts Wage and Hour Laws, and (4) make payment to the Commonwealth in the amount of $20,000.

Delaware North has agreed to (1) pay $23,772.40 to nine former employees who were entitled to a payment for vacation time, (2) pay over 350 employees a pro-rata share of $10,000 to cover unused meal breaks, (3) enter into a compliance plan to ensure compliance with Massachusetts Wage and Hour Laws and (4) pay $5,000 to the Commonwealth.

The Attorney General's Office is responsible for enforcing the laws regulating the payment of wages laws, overtime and misclassification of employees in the Commonwealth. Workers who believe they have not been paid all their wages, including earned vacation pay or that their rights have been violated are strongly urged to call the Attorney General's Fair Labor Hotline at (617) 727-3465. More information about the wage and hour laws is also available in multiple languages at the Attorney General's Workplace Rights website: www.massworkrights.com.

The matter was settled by Assistant Attorney General Thomas Johnson and was investigated by Inspector Iona Powell-Headley, both of AG Coakley's Fair Labor Division.

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