EAST HANOVER — The Boston Market situated at 332 Route 10, East Hanover, has been mandated to cease operations. This closure comes as a result of workers’ rights infringements, with this specific establishment being one of the 27 Boston Market outlets across New Jersey facing the same directive.
The Department of Labor says it found multiple violations of workers’ rights, including more than $600,000 in back wages.
Investigators say the chain also failed to pay minimum wage and sick leave.
In all, the chain is facing more than $2.5 million in fees and penalties.
Stop-work orders were issued at the following locations:
- 491 Ridge Rd, North Arlington, NJ 07031
- 314 Essex Street, Lodi, NJ 07644
- 180 Hackensack Avenue, Hackensack, NJ 07602
- 21-20 Broadway, Fair Lawn, NJ 07410
- 321 Broad Street, Ridgefield, NJ 07657
- 20 Wycoff Avenue, Waldwick, NJ 07463
- 395 NJ-17, Mahwah, NJ 07430
- 175 Kinderkamack Road, Emerson, NJ 07630
- 275 Livingston Street, North Vale, NJ 07647
- 471 Central Avenue, East Orange, NJ 07018
- 247 NJ-10 East, Succasunna, NJ 07876
- 332 Route 10 West, East Hanover, NJ 07936
- 1160 US-46, Clifton, NJ 07013
- 1342 Clifton Avenue, Clifton, NJ 07012
- 523 Chestnut Street Union, NJ 07083
- 770 Route 33, Hamilton, NJ 08619
- 1729 N. Olden Avenue, Ewing Township, NJ 08638
- 300 Rt-18, East Brunswick, NJ 08816
- 878 US Rt. 1 North Bound, Edison, NJ 08817
- 1560 St. Georges Avenue, Avenel, NJ 07001
- 4159 US 9, Howell, NJ 07731
- 1103 Broad Street, Shrewsbury, NJ 07702
- 900 Easton Avenue #165, Somerset, NJ 08873
- 514 High Street, Mt. Holly, NJ 08060
- 5716 Blackhorse Pike, Blackwood, NJ 08012
- 891 Hurffville Road, Woodbury, NJ 08096
- 301 S. Main Road, Vineland, NJ 08360
The investigation was prompted when the NJDOL’s Division of Wage and Hour and Contract Compliance received a complaint in November 2022 from a Boston Market worker at 770 Route 33 in Hamilton, Mercer County. Since then, nearly three dozen additional complaints have been received naming several New Jersey Boston Market locations. Initial findings included citations for unpaid/late payment of wages, hindrance of the investigation, failure to pay minimum wage, records violations, failure to pay earned sick leave, and failure to maintain records for earned sick leave.
“With restaurants across the country, Boston Market needs to set a better example for fair treatment of its workers,” said Joseph Petrecca, Assistant Commissioner of NJDOL’s Division of Wage and Hour and Contract Compliance. “Thanks to the Murphy Administration, NJDOL has the tools to carry out large-scale enforcement efforts within the state so we can work with employers to stop worker exploitation, create sustainable change, and prevent future violations.”
Initial findings of the investigation were sent to parent company Boston Chicken of NJ, LLC d/b/a Boston Market headquartered in Golden, Colo., to C.E.O. Jignesh Pandya of Newtown, Pa., and to the registered agent of the company at Princeton South Corporate Center in Ewing.
NJDOL investigators have found $607,471 in back wages owed to 314 workers, as well as $1,214,942 in liquidated damages. Boston Chicken of NJ has also assessed an administrative fee of $182,241.30 and $549,500 in administrative penalties, for a total of $2,554,154.30.
Stop-work orders are initiated by NJDOL to halt work being performed in a manner that exploits workers or is otherwise noncompliant with state laws and regulations. An employer may appeal a stop-work order, in which case NJDOL has seven days to schedule a hearing. Boston Market has requested a hearing.
NJDOL continues to monitor locations where stop-work orders have been issued and can assess civil penalties of $5,000 per day against an employer conducting business in violation of the order. The stop-work order may be lifted if and when any remaining back wages and penalties have been paid and all related issues have been resolved.