- Office of Attorney General Maura Healey
- The Attorney General's Fair Labor Division
Media Contact for Hopkinton Wedding Rental Company to Pay Back Employees After Violating Wage and Hour Laws
Boston — A Hopkinton wedding rental equipment company and its managers will pay nearly $40,000 in restitution and penalties, including back wages to 15 employees, to settle allegations that it violated state wage and hour laws and made unlawful deductions from employees’ paychecks, Attorney General Maura Healey announced today.
The AG’s Office began investigating Boston Rustic Wedding Rentals LLC and its managers Joseph Earl Gaylord and Faleesha Higgins after receiving complaints from two former employees alleging non-payment of wages, and failure to pay overtime to seasonal employees.
The AG’s investigation of Boston Rustic found that employees received several late and bounced paychecks. The investigation also found that Higgins provided lodging for the employees who held J-1 Visas and made deductions from their paychecks for the cost of rent that violated minimum wage restrictions.
Massachusetts law dictates that all non-exempt employees are entitled to time and a half pay if they work more than 40 hours per week. Employers may not make lodging deductions of more than $25 to $35 per week from an employee’s basic minimum wage, and then only if the employee has agreed in writing to the deductions. All employees, including those working under a J-1 Visa, are protected by under Massachusetts’ wage laws regardless of immigration status. For more information, see AG Healey’s 2017 May Day Advisory.
As a part of its continued efforts to protect workers and their families in Massachusetts, the AG’s Office issued its third annual Labor Day Report on the office’s efforts to address wage theft and other forms of worker exploitation last month. The report shows that in fiscal year 2018, the office opened 729 cases and assessed more than $9.6 million in restitution and penalties against employers on behalf of working people in Massachusetts.
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 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 Lisa C. Price of the AG’s Fair Labor Division.