New Jersey regulators ordered 27 Boston Market locations to close Tuesday after discovering the company failed to pay hundreds of thousands of dollars in wages.
The New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development said it found “multiple violations of workers’ rights” in Boston Market locations in the state. According to the agency, the company owes more than $600,000 in backpay to more than 300 workers.
The agency also slapped the company with $1.2 million in liquidated damages.
The company will be allowed to re-open the 27 stores “if and when any remaining back wages and penalties have been paid and all related issues have been resolved,” according to the agency. If the stores ordered do not shut down, they risk a $5,000-a-day fine.
Boston Market was also hit with an additional $731,741 in administrative fees and penalties, bringing the total to nearly $2.6 million.
The fines conclude a nine-month investigation following several complaints by employees over unpaid wages. Employees from at least three locations in New Jersey complained that the company failed to pay fair wages, did not pay for earned sick leave and did not maintain accurate records for sick leave.
The fines add to the growing list of headaches for the chain. The company is facing lawsuits from regulators and landlords arguing it has not paid its bills, and a $12 million lawsuit from U.S. Foods which alleges the company has not paid them in two years.