Former restaurant owner arraigned over wages

Bryan Cohen Nov. 11, 2011, 1:56am


WOBURN, Mass. (Legal Newsline) - Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley announced on Thursday that the former owner of a Woburn restaurant has been arraigned for allegedly violating the commonwealth's wage and hour laws.

Lynne A. Howell of Woburn, the former owner of La Stanza Diva Ristorante, was arraigned on allegations of failure to pay wages and failure to provide suitable pay stub record. Howell allegedly failed to pay three of her employees wages for work they performed at the restaurant and failed to provide the three employees with pay stubs.

Coakley's Fair Labor Division received a nonpayment of wage complaint from a former employee in March 2009. In August 2009, the Fair Labor Division issued a civil citation against Howell and La Stanza Diva Ristorante for alleged failure to pay timely wages in the amount of $1,650 and a penalty in the amount of $500. A $1,000 penalty for failure to produce records for inspection was also assessed.

While the citation was under appeal by Howell, the Fair Labor Division received complaints from two other employees in November 2009, alleging that Howell failed to pay them their wages. Under Massachusetts law, employers must pay employees within six days of the end of the pay period. Employers are required to provide a pay stub with proper information, including rates of pay and legal deductions.

Howell was arraigned on Wednesday in Woburn District Court. She pleaded not guilty and was released on personal recognizance. Howell is due back in court on December 16 for a pre-trial hearing. Judge Marianne C. Hinkle presided over the arraignment.

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