Quick Settlement Shows Power of Solidarity

July 16, 2019

We are happy to report a successful victory against the restaurant chain Happy Lamb Hot Pot, highlighting the power of worker solidarity to challenge mistreatment and injustice on the job.
MassCOSH’s Worker Center, Massachusetts Jobs with Justice, and other allies supported the Chinese Progressive Association who helped workers file an October 2018 lawsuit claiming restaurant management stole tips, did not pay minimum wage or overtime, and retaliated against workers who spoke up against the unlawful actions. Workers also stated they had experienced burns from handling chemicals and one worker stated they were threatened with a kitchen knife and slapped in the face. Although unable to comment on the final settlement, the workers who agreed to the settlement initially sought approximately $883,000 in owed wages and damages.
Sadly, the Happy Lamb Hot Pot workers are not alone. MassCOSH estimates that $700 million is stolen from workers in wage theft in Massachusetts each year.  Another MassCOSH legislative priority, S1066/H1610, Act to Prevent Wage Theft, Promote Employer Accountability, and Enhance Public Enforcement will protect workers and enhance enforcement in several important ways: (1) increased employer accountability: (2) enhanced public enforcement (3) ensuring timely payment.