- Office of Attorney General Maura Healey
- The Attorney General's Fair Labor Division
Boston — The owner of two supermarkets in Boston and Quincy has agreed to pay more than $80,000 for failing to pay employees minimum wage, overtime, and Sunday/holiday wages, Attorney General Maura Healey announced today. As a result, more than 100 employees will receive restitution.
The settlement agreement with the AG’s Office resolves citations issued against Zen Market Quincy, Inc., Ming’s Supermarket, Inc. in Boston’s Chinatown, and president Long Deng for the alleged violations. The AG’s Office has also cited other Chinatown businesses after conducting strategic compliance visits.
“My office is dedicated to making sure that employers and workers know what is required under state wage and hour laws,” AG Healey said. “When we see employers failing to comply with those laws, we will take action to ensure that workers are treated fairly and receive the wages they earn.”
Zen Market and Ming’s Supermarket have approximately 120 full and part-time employees between them. The AG’s Fair Labor Division began an investigation after receiving complaints from two former employees who alleged they were not paid Sunday/holiday premium pay.
The investigation revealed that over an approximately three-year period, the employer did not pay 82 employees time and one-half premium pay as required by the Massachusetts Blue Laws for Sundays and holidays. The employer also failed to pay overtime wages to 61 employees and did not pay minimum wage to 17 employees. The State's Overtime Law requires employers to pay most employees time and one half the regular rate of pay for all hours worked over 40 in a work week. The current minimum wage in Massachusetts is $11 per hour.
AG Healey’s Fair Labor Division is responsible for enforcing state laws regulating the payment of wages, including prevailing wage, minimum wage, overtime, and earned sick time laws.
To increase proactive enforcement, the Fair Labor Division has prioritized compliance visits in communities and industries across the state to discuss workers’ rights with employees, distribute materials on state wage and hour laws to employers, and note any concerns that require follow-up.
The Fair Labor Division has increased the number of voluntary compliance visits to employers in recent years, visiting almost 300 businesses in more than 100 cities and towns across Massachusetts in fiscal year 2017. As a result of follow up visits to more than a dozen businesses in the Chinatown area of Boston, the AG’s Fair Labor Division issued citations in November 2017 against multiple businesses, which failed to post free Wage and Hour posters in multiple languages that were provided to employers at a prior visit. The employers have all since paid the citations in full.
Workers who believe that their rights have been violated in their workplace are encouraged to file a complaint at www.mass.gov/ago/fairlabor. 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 Price and Investigator Lili Wu, both of AG Healey’s Fair Labor Division. The compliance visits and other citations were handled by Fair Labor Division Assistant Attorney General Kate Watkins and Investigator Lili Wu.