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Dollar Tree cited $1.5 million for meal break violations

Family Dollar Store photo

Dollar Tree Stores Inc., which operates this Family Dollar store in Pittsfield, has been cited $1.5 million in penalties by the state Attorney Generals Office for over 3,900 violations of the state's meal-break laws at the company's Massachusetts locations.

BOSTON — Dollar Tree Stores Inc., which operates Family Dollar stores in Great Barrington, North Adams and Pittsfield, has been cited $1.5 million in penalties for more than 3,900 violations of the state’s meal break laws at its Massachusetts locations, according to the state Attorney General’s Office.

Family Dollar was issued two citations by the Attorney General’s Office for failing to provide employees who worked for more than six hours in one day at least 30 minutes for a meal break, affecting 620 employees across 100 locations throughout Massachusetts — the majority of which are in low-income neighborhoods. Family Dollar, a Virginia-based company, employs more than 900 people at its Massachusetts stores and operates more than 15,000 stores across the country.

The AG’s Fair Labor Division began investigating Family Dollar after receiving multiple complaints that employees were not given proper meal breaks because of persistent staffing shortages. Investigators were able to determine that from 2018 to 2019, the company routinely cut the necessary payroll hours, leaving stores under-staffed. This resulted in hundreds of employees being unable to leave their stores or take meal breaks.

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