99 Asian Supermarket Inc. and its president Xi Ping Xia received five citations for failing to make timely payment of wages, failure to issue a suitable paystub, failure to keep true and accurate records, failure to pay the state minimum wage, and retaliation.
The AG’s Office began its investigation after the Chinese Progressive Association referred a series of complaints. The investigation revealed that 99 Supermarket engaged in payroll fraud by maintaining separate payroll records for hours paid by check and by cash, issued incomplete paystubs, and failed to maintain any records for some workers. The investigation also found that some cashiers-in-training were paid only $25 for a full day of work, far below the state minimum wage, and that the employer had not been paying required wages for work on Sundays and holidays. Investigators also determined that a worker who complained about wage violations to the employer was retaliated against.
“We are very happy to hear that there is justice in this case,” said Chinese Progressive Association Worker Center Coordinator Fiona Yu. “In order for workers to stand for their rights, there needs to be workers’ right education, community support, and an Attorney General willing to work with the workers and the community to enforce labor laws.”
As a result of complaints filed by workers and the AG’s investigation, 99 Supermarket agreed to pay workers restitution for the premium pay and minimum wage violations.
Workers who believe that their rights have been violated are encouraged to file a complaint at www.mass.gov/ago/wagetheft. For information about the state’s wage and hour laws, workers may call the Office’s Fair Labor Hotline at (617) 727-3465 or go to the Attorney General’s Workplace Rights website www.mass.gov/ago/fairlabor for materials in multiple languages.
This matter was handled by Assistant Attorney General Kate Watkins and Investigator Lili Wu, both of the AG’s Fair Labor Division.