City of Chelsea Authorizes License Commission to Take Action Against Licensees for Non-Payment of Wages

The Chelsea City Council recently voted to enact a wage theft ordinance that could impact restaurants, liquor stores, and retail businesses. The ordinance authorizes the city's License Commission to suspend, revoke or not renew the issuance a proposed or existing licensee when there is a violation of the Fair Labor Standards Act or any other federal or state law regulating the payment of wages, such as not paying minimum wage, not paying overtime, withholding pay or not paying at all. Although most business adhere to the law, the restaurant industry has traditionally been ripe with opportunities to commit wage violations upon vulnerable constituencies. Therefore it is particularly important for ALL businesses to ensure they are in compliance with wage regulations, because even an unknowing violation could result in the loss of the permits and licenses necessary to operate. My understanding is Cambridge, Quincy and Boston have all entertained so-called "Wage-Theft" ordinances as well, but am uncertain whether their License Commissions have or will receive the authority to take action against violators. I would not be surprised to see other municipalities following Chelsea's lead. Read More About the Ordinance Here.