Supermarkets to pay $800,000 in overtime violation case

BOSTON (AP) – A Boston-area supermarket chain will pay $800,000 to settle allegations that it violated state labor laws by failing to pay workers overtime and weekend rates, the state attorney general’s office said Tuesday.

The C-Mart stores, which specialize in Asian foods and are located in Boston’s South End and Chinatown neighborhoods as well as in Quincy, were issued 15 citations in 2021 following an investigation by the attorney general’s Fair Labor Division.

In addition to not properly paying workers for overtime or for hours worked on Sundays, authorities concluded that the stores failed to furnish accurate payroll records and failed to post required workplace notices.

“I am proud of the office’s work to ensure that the workers harmed by C-Mart will get back the wages they are rightfully owed,” Attorney General Andrea Joy Campbell said in a statement.

The settlement was reached after C-Mart appealed the 2021 citations.

A lawyer for C-Mart said via email that the company cooperated with the investigation and that while it did not agree with the attorney general’s methodology for calculating the amount due, it was pleased to reach a resolution without litigation.

“This matter arose due to bookkeeping system issues and the unavailability of timecards, not to bad faith of anyone at C-Mart,” attorney Matthew Morris said.

The company has changed its policies to comply with state law, he said.

Most Massachusetts workers are entitled to time-and-a-half pay for working more than 40 hours per week. At the time of the investigation, most were also entitled to premium pay for Sundays.

The attorney general will distribute the money to affected C-Mart employees through a claims process.

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