Press Release

Press Release Dorchester Supermarket Pays Back Thousands of Dollars in Wages to Workers in AG Settlement

For immediate release:
4/11/2018
  • Office of Attorney General Maura Healey
  • The Attorney General's Fair Labor Division

Media Contact

Emalie Gainey

BostonSeveral current and former employees of a Dorchester supermarket will receive thousands of dollars in wages in a settlement with the AG’s Office over the employer’s failure to pay minimum wage and overtime, Attorney General Maura Healey announced today.

Geneva Variety, Inc. d/b/a Sobrino’s Market, and its President Bernardo Abreau of Dorchester, were issued three citations totaling $142,806 in wages and penalties for multiple violations of the state’s wage and hour laws. 

Pursuant to a settlement agreement with the AG’s Office, Sobrino’s Market has compensated eight current and former employees who were not paid the state minimum wage and time and a half for overtime. Each employee was significantly underpaid, with restitution for each ranging from $5,000 to $47,000.

“Workers must be paid for the hours they work,” said AG Healey. “I commend these employees for speaking up for themselves and their co-workers. We encourage all workers to contact our office if they aren’t being paid fairly.”

The AG’s Fair Labor Division began an investigation when two former employees filed complaints alleging that the owner of Sobrino’s Market was paying the complainants by salary, which did not cover minimum wage or overtime.

After an investigation, the AG’s Office determined that multiple employees were not paid enough in salary to cover the minimum wage and time and a half for hours worked over 40. The company also failed to keep true and accurate records. The company has paid all restitution and fines and has come into compliance with the state wage and hour statutes.

According to current Massachusetts law, it is unlawful for any employer to employ any individual in an occupation for a wage of less than $11 per hour. Employers are also required to pay time and a half for all hours worked in excess of 40 in a given work week. Additionally, every employer must keep a true and accurate record of the name, address and occupation of each employee, of the amount paid each pay period to each employee and of the hours worked each day and each week by each employee.

AG Healey’s Fair Labor Division is responsible for enforcing state laws regulating the payment of wages, including prevailing wage, minimum wage, earned sick time 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/wagetheft. For 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 Investigator Soledad Aylward, both of AG Healey’s Fair Labor Division.

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Media Contact

Office of Attorney General Maura Healey 

Attorney General Maura Healey is the chief lawyer and law enforcement officer of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.

The Attorney General's Fair Labor Division 

The Attorney General’s Fair Labor Division protects workers from exploitation and sets a level playing field for employers. We enforce wage and hour, public construction, and child labor laws.

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