BOSTON (Mass.gov/ago) – Two entertainment companies and their owner, which operate various businesses in the Northampton and Holyoke area, have been cited more than $100,000 in restitution and penalties over allegations that they violated the rights of approximately 30 workers, including failing to pay wages in a timely manner and denying the use of paid sick time, Attorney General Maura Healey announced today.
Iron Horse Ventures, Inc. and president and manager Eric Suher have been issued four citations by the AG’s Office over failure to pay wages in a timely manner; failure to maintain a sick leave policy and denying the use of paid sick time to certain employees; failure to post workplace notices; and a subsequent failure to furnish true and accurate records. 26-28 Center St. LLC, another company owned by Suher, was also issued a citation for failing to furnish records.
“These companies have repeatedly refused to turn over records or otherwise cooperate with our office’s investigation into wage theft,” said AG Healey. “We’ve issued these citations to these companies for taking advantage of people trying to make a living and will fight to get these exploited workers the wages they earned.”
The AG’s Fair Labor Division began an investigation after a referral from the Pioneer Valley Workers Center, which received various complaints from employees of the two companies.
As part of that initial investigation, the AG’s Office issued payroll demands requiring the production of records. However, the companies only provided partial records that were missing important documentation and information. In May 2020, both companies were cited for the failure to furnish records with a $7,500 penalty, which remains unpaid.
The AG’s Fair Labor Division’s subsequent investigation substantiated that workers were not being paid their wages on time and were at times denied the use of paid sick time. Iron Horse Ventures also failed to maintain a sick leave policy or post workplace notices, and it also made regular deductions for meal breaks that workers were not permitted to take. Both companies again failed to furnish true and accurate records. Neither company has come into compliance with the state’s wage and labor laws since the citations have been issued.
Any 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.
This matter was handled by Assistant Attorney General Amy Goyer and Investigator Christina Proietti, both of the AG’s Fair Labor Division.