NEW JERSEY (PIX11) — Over two dozen Boston Market locations throughout New Jersey were issued stop-work orders until they pay $2.5 million in back wages, fines, and other penalties.

The New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development issued 27 stop-work orders on Tuesday to Boston Markets because the agency discovered more than $600,000 in back pay owed to 314 workers. NJDOL investigators have also found $1.2 million in liquidated damages.

A complaint filed by an employee at a Mercer County location last year is what prompted the agency to look into the popular restaurant, the labor department said.

Investigators uncovered that Boston Market failed to pay minimum wage, to pay for earned sick leave, and to maintain records for earned sick leave. Other citations include hindrance of the investigation, and records violations, according to the labor department.

“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. 

Boston Market did not immediately respond to PIX11’s request for comment.

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,” according to the NJDOL. The agency said it will continue to monitor locations under the stop-work order, and the chain can receive an additional fine of $5,000 per day if they reopen.

For a full list of the locations impacted by the stop-work order, click here.

Charline Charles is a digital journalist from Brooklyn who has covered local news along with culture and arts in the New York City area since 2019. She joined PIX11 News in 2022. See more of her work here.