North Andover Bakery to Pay More Than $586,000 to Settle Claims it Violated Overtime and Anti-Retaliation Laws
BOSTON – A North Andover commercial wholesale bakery will pay more than $586,000 in restitution and penalties to settle claims that it failed to pay overtime to employees and violated anti-retaliation laws, Attorney General Martha Coakley announced today.
“Under Massachusetts law, workers deserve to be paid all of their wages including overtime,” AG Coakley said. “In many instances low income workers depend on overtime pay just to get by.”
The consent judgment requires Jessica’s Brick Oven, Inc., to pay more than $586,000 in restitution and penalties and to comply with the State’s wage and hour laws. In addition, the company’s president – who is also liable under the State wage and hour laws -- has agreed to take a 50% pay cut, in order to return his pay back to the level it was before the violations occurred and to facilitate repayment to the workers.
In June 2011, the AG’s Office began an investigation into the business practices of Jessica’s Brick Oven, Inc., in response to complaints received from employees with assistance from the Chelsea Collaborative. The employees alleged nonpayment of overtime wages on a company-wide basis. Furthermore, one employee reported an incident of retaliation for pursuing overtime pay.
The AG’s investigation determined that from January 2010 through November 2011 the employers failed to pay 115 employees overtime pay for any hours employees worked over 40 each week. The State's Overtime Law requires employers to pay qualifying employees time and one half their regular rate of pay for all hours worked over 40 in a work week. The investigation further revealed that a supervisor threatened an employee for continuing to pursue unpaid overtime wages.
The AG’s Office is responsible for enforcing the laws regulating the payment of wages, meal breaks, overtime and misclassification of employees in the Commonwealth. Workers who believe that their rights have been violated are strongly urged to call the AG’s Fair Labor Hotline at (617) 727-3465. More information about the state’s wage and hour laws is also available in multiple languages at the AG’s Workplace Rights website: www.massworkrights.com.
This matter was handled by Assistant Attorney General Kate J. Fitzpatrick and was investigated by Investigator Elizabete Trelegan with the assistance of Jeffrey Mahoney and Nora Saint-Martin, all of Attorney General Coakley’s Fair Labor Division.