State issues stop-work order to 27 Boston Market locations in N.J., including Ewing and Hamilton, for failure to pay wages

Steet view of Boston Market in Ewing NJ.
The Boston Market on Olden Avenue in Ewing.

The New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development issued 27 stop-work orders to Boston Market locations across the state on Aug. 14 after discovering multiple violations of workers’ rights. Officials said more than $600,000 in back wages is owed to 314 workers. 

An investigation began after the New Jersey Department of Labor’s Division of Wage and Hour and Contract Compliance received a complaint in November 2022 from a Boston Market worker at the Route 33 location in Hamilton. Officials said since then, nearly three dozen complaints have been received from employees at several New Jersey Boston Market locations. Initial findings included citations for unpaid wages or the late payment of wages, the 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 the Division of Wage and Hour and Contract Compliance.

Initial findings of the investigation were sent to Jignesh Pandya of Newtown, Pa., CEO of the parent company Boston Chicken of NJ.

State investigators say a total of $607,471 in back wages is owed to 314 workers, as well as $1,214,942 in “liquidated damages.” Boston Chicken of NJ has also been assessed an administrative fee of $182,241.30 and $549,500 in administrative penalties. The company owes a total of $2,554,154.30 to the state.

Stop-work orders are initiated by the Department of Labor to halt work being performed in a manner that exploits workers or is noncompliant with state laws and regulations. An employer may appeal a stop-work order. The state has seven days to schedule a hearing. Boston Market has requested a hearing. 

State workers 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. A stop-work order can be lifted if and when any remaining back wages and penalties have been paid and all related issues have been resolved. 

Below is the complete list of Boston Market locations that were issued a stop-work order: 

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