Boston — A Stoneham company that operates more than 60 Dunkin Donut stores in Massachusetts, including Fall River, has paid a $60,000 penalty for failure to comply with the state’s Earned Sick Time Law, Attorney General Maura Healey announced today.
In a settlement agreement with the AG’s Office, Jose S. Couto, Manager of Couto Management Group, LLC and President of Rockland Donuts, Inc., has agreed to pay the penalty for failing to provide notice to employees about their rights under the law, as required.
“We’re counting on all businesses to inform their workers about their right to sick time,” said AG Healey. “That’s especially important where workers are handling food. We’re glad to have resolved this matter to ensure that 2,000 Massachusetts workers will be able to take the sick time they earn.”
The earned sick time law allows for workers to use up to 40 hours of earned sick time per year if they (or their child, spouse, parent, or spouse’s parent) are sick or injured or have a routine medical appointment.
The AG’s Office began an investigation after receiving a complaint from an employee at a Roslindale Dunkin Donuts operated by the employer. Couto Management Group has approximately 2,000 employees across all stores in Massachusetts.
The investigation revealed that the Couto Management Group failed to provide individual notice to employees about earned sick time. The law requires employers to provide a hard copy or electronic notice to employees of the law’s requirements or include an earned sick time policy or allowable substitute paid leave policy in any employee manual or handbook.
AG Healey’s Fair Labor Division is responsible for enforcing state laws regulating the payment of wages, including prevailing wage, minimum wage, overtime laws and earned sick time laws.
Workers who believe that their rights have been violated in their workplace are encouraged to file a complaint at www.mass.gov/ago/fairlabor. 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 new Workplace Rights website www.mass.gov/ago/fairlabor for materials in multiple languages.
This matter was handled by Assistant Attorney General Lisa Price and Investigator Kevin Shanahan, both of AG Healey’s Fair Labor Division.