BOSTON (Legal Newsline) – Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey announced that Bloomin’ Brands Inc. will pay $210,000 after allegations it failed to pay more than 2,500 state workers for required training in violation of state law.
Bloomin’ Brands Inc. is the parent company of Outback Steakhouse, Carrabba’s Italian Grill, Bonefish Grill and Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse and Wine Bar.
“Companies cannot cut corners in order to save costs and must pay their employees for the hours they work,” Healey said. “As a result of a single complaint to our office, thousands of Massachusetts workers will now receive restitution for the wages they earned.”
Bloomin’ Brands Inc. owns 22 restaurants in the state at locations such as Leominster, Boston, Peabody, Auburn, Hanover, Methuen, Seekonk, Framingham, Lowell, Somerville, Westborough, Norwood, Tyngsboro, Bellingham, Randolph, West Springfield, Waltham, Burlington and Westwood.
The company allegedly made employees routinely participate in online training, but used a different program to track hours spent on training than hours spent on restaurant work. Bloomin’ Brands failed to include the training hours when processing hours for payroll, Healey’s office claimed.
Bloomin Brands’ has made the necessary changes to its systems to address the issue and has agreed to a compliance program through which the AG’s office will review its records until 2016 comes to a close.