December 20, 2018

Hopkinton wedding company to pay $40K for upaid wages

A Hopkinton wedding rental equipment company and its managers will pay nearly $40,000 in restitution and penalties, including back wages to 15 employees, to settle allegations it violated state laws and made unlawful deductions from employees' paychecks, Attorney General Maura Healey announced Thursday.

An investigation by Healey's office found employees of Boston Rustic Wedding Rentals received several late and bounced paychecks. Investigators found Faleesha Higgins, a co-owner with Joseph Early Gaylord, provided lodging for employees who held J-1 visas and made deductions from their paychecks to cover their rent.

That action violated minimum wage restrictions, the AG's office said.

No one answered a phone number listed for Boston Rustic Wedding Rentals on Thursday.

Healey's office said it began investigating the company after receiving complaints from two former employees who alleged non-payment of wages and a failure to pay overtime to seasonal employees.

Massachusetts law dictates all non-exempt employees are entitled to time and a half pay if they work more than 40 hours per week, Healey's office said. Employers may not make lodging deductions of more than $25 to $35 per week from an employee's basic minimum wage, and then only if the employee has agreed in writing to the deductions, according to the attorney general.


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