For Immediate Release - December 28, 2015

Dorchester Store to Pay More than $100,000 for Failure to Pay Proper Wages, Failure to Keep Accurate Payroll Records

Company to Pay Restitution and Penalties for Failing to Comply with Massachusetts Wage and Hour Laws

BOSTON – A Dorchester grocery store and its owner have agreed to pay more than $100,000 for failing to properly pay their employees in violation of the state’s wage and hour laws and for failure to maintain required payroll records, Attorney General Maura Healey announced today.

Truong-Thinh Market, Inc. and its president, Joseph Pham, have agreed to pay more than $84,000 in restitution to workers and more than $21,000 in penalties for failure to pay minimum and overtime wages and for failing to keep accurate payroll records.

“This business took advantage of its workers by failing to pay them the appropriate hard-earned wages they were entitled to,” AG Healey said. “We will continue to advocate on behalf of Massachusetts workers to make sure they know their rights and don’t fall victim to unfair and exploitative employment practices.”

In July 2015, the AG’s Office began its investigation of Truong-Thinh Market, following complaints from several employees.

The investigation determined that, from September 2013 to August 2015, a total of seven employees were not paid minimum wage or the proper overtime rate. Employees were working more than 40 hours per week and were paid a salary in cash that did not meet the statutory requirements for minimum wage or overtime. 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 store and Pham also failed to keep accurate payroll records.

This case serves as an example of the office’s focus on providing economic security to the residents of Massachusetts, particularly vulnerable workers. The AG’s Office enforces the 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 call the Office’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 Attorney General's Workplace Rights website

This matter was handled by Assistant Attorney General Lisa Price and Investigator Christina Lopez of Attorney General Maura Healey’s Fair Labor Division.