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Mass. AG announces $586,000 settlement with bakery

By Bryan Cohen | Jan 23, 2013

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BOSTON (Legal Newsline) - Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley announced a settlement on Friday with a North Andover commercial wholesale bakery to resolve allegations that it failed to pay overtime to employees and violated anti-retaliation laws.

Under the terms of the settlement, Jessica's Brick Oven Inc. must pay more than $586,000 in penalties and restitution and comply with the state's wage and hour laws. Additionally, the company's president has agreed to take a 50 percent pay cut to return his pay back to the level it was prior to the violations and to enable repayment to the workers. The company's president is liable for the violations of the state wage and hour laws.

"Under Massachusetts law, workers deserve to be paid all of their wages including overtime," Coakley said. "In many instances low income workers depend on overtime pay just to get by."

In June 2011, Coakley's office began looking into the business practices of Jessica's Brick Oven in response to complaints received from employees with assistance from the Chelsea Collaborative. The employees alleged non-payment of overtime wages throughout the company and one employee alleged retaliation for pursuing overtime pay.

After looking into the complaints, Coakley's office alleged that between January 2010 and November 2011, the employers failed to pay 115 employees overtime pay for any hours worked over 40 each week, a violation of the state's Overtime Law. A supervisor also allegedly threatened an employee for continuing to pursue unpaid overtime wages.

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