AG’s Office Cites Theory Wellness for Wage Law Violations Affecting 282 Employees; Dispensary Has Locations in Chicopee, Bridgewater, and Great Barrington
BOSTON — A marijuana dispensary with locations in Chicopee, Bridgewater, and Great Barrington will pay nearly $300,000 in restitution and penalties for failing to pay hundreds of employees premium pay on Sundays and covered holidays, Attorney General Maura Healey announced today.
Theory Wellness, Inc., President and CEO Brandon Pollock, and Treasurer and Secretary Nicholas Friedman have been issued one citation by the AG’s Office for failing to pay its employees premium pay for hours worked on Sundays and covered holidays, in violation of Massachusetts wage and hour laws.
“Our office works to ensure that employees are rightfully compensated under the law for the work they do across industries in Massachusetts,” said AG Healey. “As a result of our investigation and action in this case, nearly three hundred employees who were not paid properly by Theory Wellness will now be made whole.”
The AG’s Fair Labor Division began an investigation in December 2020 following a complaint from a worker about premium pay. Fair Labor’s investigation determined that 282 employees were owed hundreds of thousands of dollars in premium pay for work performed on Sundays and covered holidays.
Massachusetts’ wage and hour laws require that employees of certain retail businesses be paid “premium pay” for working on Sundays and certain holidays. In 2021, employees who are entitled to premium pay must be paid 1.2 times their regular hourly rate for work on Sundays. In 2022, that rate will go down to 1.1 times their regular rate and in 2023, the premium pay requirement will be eliminated, pursuant to legislation passed in 2018.
Under the terms of the settlement with the AG’s Office, Theory Wellness has agreed to pay in full the premium wages owed to impacted employees. The company cooperated with the investigation and has since come into compliance with the premium and holiday pay laws.
Any other workers, who believe their rights have been violated in their workplace, 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/fairlabor for materials in multiple languages. For information about premium pay for Sundays and holidays, go to www.mass.gov/guides/working-on-sundays-and-holidays-blue-laws.
This matter was handled by Assistant Attorney General Alex Sugerman-Brozan and Investigator Fransheska Alcantara, both of the AG’s Fair Labor Division.