BOSTON (Legal Newsline) – Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley announced a $158,000 settlement on Wednesday with Ruby Tuesday to resolve allegations that the national restaurant chain violated child labor and meal break laws.
Coakley’s Fair Labor Division received complaints alleging that the chain was employing minors beyond hours permitted by state law. Between 2007 and 2009, Ruby Tuesday allegedly employed minors without work permits and outside the permissible hours. The chain also allegedly failed to allow employees to take a 30-minute meal break when working six or more hours.
“Our child labor laws are designed to protect minors in the workplace,” Coakley said. “Employers must adhere to the law to ensure the health and safety of their workers.”
The Massachusetts Child Labor Laws restrict the occupations in which minors may be employed, in addition to the hours during which they work. The Massachusetts Meal Break Law requires that employees working more than six hours have a 30-minute meal break. During the 30-minute break, employees must be free to leave the work premises and be relieved of all duties.
In August 2009, Ruby Tuesday put corporate wide procedures into place to ensure future compliance with wage and hour, child labor and meal break laws in Massachusetts.
Under the terms of the settlement, Ruby Tuesday must pay $125,000 to resolve allegations that it violated child labor laws and $33,000 to resolve allegations it violated meal break laws.
Coakley’s office enforces the laws related to misclassification of employees, overtime, meal breaks and the payment of wages in the state.