BOSTON (Legal Newsline) — Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey announced March 10 that UnWrapped Inc. and President Steven Katz will pay roughly $1.2 million after allegations of numerous wage and hour law violations and retaliation against employees.
“Hundreds of low-income workers were cheated by this employer who we allege tried to evade state labor laws,” Healey said. “Our laws ensure that every employee in Massachusetts is paid fairly and these workers will now get back the wages they earned.”
UnWrapped’s core business involves selling reusable grocery bags to chain supermarkets. Many of its employees receive pay via staffing agencies. Healey’s office alleges the company utilized these agencies to try and shield itself from liability through the assertion that it did not employ the workers.
According to allegations, temporary workers at UnWrapped were paid hourly rates below the state minimum wage. Additionally, the company failed to have an earned sick time policy. Many workers also worked more than 40 hours per week but did not receive time-and-a-half pay. A final allegation involves allowing an 11-year-old to work at the factory.
Katz and UnWrapped agreed to pay $293,170 for the alleged violations of state laws. In a related settlement with the U.S. Department of Labor, they will pay $890,021 for the alleged violations of overtime law, plus $8,350 for the alleged federal child labor law violation.