Citations include compensation for more than 800 employees.
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BOSTON — Attorney General Andrea Joy Campbell has announced that her office has reached a settlement with Dave & Buster’s, which includes $275,000 for workers, to resolve meal break and child labor violations. Dave & Buster’s operates three locations in Massachusetts in Braintree, Natick and Woburn.
Under the terms of the agreement, Dave & Buster’s of Massachusetts, Inc. will accept three citations issued by the AG’s Office. This includes citations for violating state law by not providing meal breaks of at least 30 minutes to employees who worked shifts lasting longer than six hours and not obtaining work permits for minors before they began employment and by employing 16- or 17-year-old minors for later hours than permitted by law.
“When companies violate our laws to protect workers, including meal break and child labor violations they create unfair and unsafe working environments,” said AG Campbell. “Ensuring that employers are in compliance with these laws and that all employees are compensated and treated justly is an important priority for my office, and we will do everything we can to uphold and protect the rights of workers in Massachusetts.”
The AG’s Office began looking into Dave & Buster’s following a complaint from a parent who alleged that their child was made to work past midnight on a weeknight, as well as a complaint alleging denial of statutory meal breaks. The investigation revealed that employees regularly worked shifts of more than six hours without meal breaks.
Additionally, the AG’s Office determined that Dave & Buster’s employed several minors without work permits and employed underage employees for later hours than permitted by state statute. Children who are 16 and 17 years old may not work later than 10 p.m. on school nights.
Dave & Buster’s has agreed to pay over $275,000, including penalties and compensation for more than 800 employees.
The AG’s Office has previously cited other companies for violating state laws pertaining to meal breaks. In February 2022, the AG’s Office cited Family Dollar $1.5 million in penalties for thousands of meal break violations across 100 locations throughout Massachusetts. In February 2023, the AG’s Office also cited a pool repair and lifeguard services company for numerous wage and hour violations, including failing to obtain work permits for minor employees, and failure to provide meal breaks.
Massachusetts’ breaks and time off laws provide workers with a right to at least a 30-minute unpaid meal break for each six hours worked in a calendar day. During this meal break, workers must be relieved of their duties and be permitted to leave the workplace. Any requirement to remain on store premises is considered working time, and a violation of the law.
This case is also part of AG Campbell’s ongoing effort to protect and uphold the rights of young workers. Last month, the AG’s Office announced citations against two Dunkin’ franchisees in various locations across Massachusetts for committing numerous child labor violations. Minor workers can find additional information online on what laws and protections are available to them.
Workers who believe that their rights have been violated in the workplace are encouraged to file a complaint online at www.mass.gov/ago/fld. For more information about the state’s wage and hour laws, workers may call the AG’s Fair Labor Hotline at (617) 727-3465 or go to www.mass.gov/ago/fairlabor for materials in multiple languages.
This matter was handled by Assistant Attorney General Kate Watkins and Investigator Lili Wu of AG Campbell’s Fair Labor Division.