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Boston Market ordered to close 27 locations in one state

State officials ordered the restaurant chain to close most of its locations in one U.S. state, saying it violated various labor laws.

A chicken and veggie meal sits on table at Boston Market restaurant.
Patti Longmire/AP

Nearly all Boston Market locations in New Jersey were ordered to close by the state's Department of Labor and Workforce Development after officials accused the company of holding back over $600,000 in wages to a total of 314 workers. 

Officials said they received a compliance complaint in November 2022 from a Boston Market employee in Hamilton, New Jersey. Since the original complaint, nearly three dozen additional complaints were received from employees at various locations within the state. 

The Department of Labor said it initially found violations of unpaid/late payment of wages, hindrance of the investigation, failure to pay minimum wage, records violations, failure to pay earned sick leave and failure to maintain records for earned sick leave. 

The state said the stop-work order can be lifted when the company pays back wages and penalties and all matters have been resolved. 

The fast food chain is appealing the decision, which will prompt a hearing. 

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In addition to the back wages, the state says the company owes over $1.2 million in liquidated damages, an administrative fee of $182,241 and an administrative penalty of $549,500. 

“With restaurants across the country, Boston Market needs to set a better example for fair treatment of its workers,” said Joseph Petrecca, assistant commissioner of NJDOL’s Division of Wage and Hour and Contract Compliance.

Boston Market lists 31 locations in New Jersey. Scripps News has contacted Boston Market for its reaction. 

Boston Market has about 300 locations throughout the U.S. 

The full list of affected locations is on the New Jersey Department of Labor's website.