Matchbox Food Group Will Pay More Than $142K To Resolve Wage Theft Charges


Washington, D.C. ( District of Columbia Attorney General Karal Racine has announced that Matchbox Food Group, LLC, will pay over $142, 000 in unpaid wages to more than 100 of its employees as part of a settlement with the Office of the Attorney General (OAG). 

The company, which owns and manages Matchbox restaurants, was investigated for allegedly failing to pay minimum wages to some of their workers, including runners and bussers, from 2016 through 2018. The agreement also settles alleged minimum wage violations at Ted’s Bulletin restaurants, also operated by Matchbox.  In addition to paying restitution to those workers that were affected, Matchbox will also pay a $5,000 penalty, and execute systems and new policies to make sure that the company is in complete compliance with D.C.’s minimum wage laws.

The OAG investigation stemmed from complaints by workers. Officials said the company paid more than 100 bussers and runners less than minimum wage during many pay periods between 2016 and 2018. 

“District law requires businesses to pay a living wage and ensure that workers receive all the wages they rightfully earn,” Racine said in a statement. “The Office of the Attorney General is committed to fighting wage theft in all of its forms. We have demonstrated over and over that when employers fail to live up to their legal obligations, we do not hesitate to step in and vindicate workers’ rights.”

Court documents obtained by show the company is required to do the following: 

  • Make payments to each individual for the gross amounts … the total of which is $142,551.15 (the “Restitution Amount”), less any federal, state, or local withholding taxes. Payments shall be made by  check,  money order, or  direct deposit. In the event a Claimant is no longer employed by Respondent, Respondent will mail the respective payment to his/her last known address.
  • Pay the Restitution Amount in six (6) monthly installments due on the first of the month beginning December 1, 2020 and  paid out in accordance with the schedule set out.
  • Fifteen (15) days prior to making any payment required the employer shall provide the District with the addresses for each Claimant and the gross amount they will be paid pursuant to the Settlement Agreement so that the District can issue a notice to each Claimant.
  • On May 1, 2021, Respondent will make one (1) payment in the amount of  $5,000.00 payable to “D.C. Treasurer,” and paid in the form of certified or cashier’s check or money order.
  • By September 1, 2021, Respondent will review whether any payments made to Claimants remain uncashed. Upon this review, Respondent will void all uncashed payments and issue a single check for the Uncashed Amount made payable to “D.C. Treasurer” no later than November 1, 2021. The OAG shall deposit these amounts into its Restitution Fund and attempt to locate Claimants who failed to cash their payments and distribute amounts owed.
  • By July 1, 2021, Respondent shall provide to the District documents sufficient to show all the payments to the Claimants required. In the event any Claimant or the District does not receive Respondent’s required payments within 15 days of the date the payment was mailed, the District shall notify Leslie Stout-Tabackman, Counsel for Respondent. Respondent shall have 15 days from the date of the District’s notice to re-issue a payment for any outstanding amount.

Maryland based Matchbox Food Group, LLC, is required to organize and maintain policies to ensure that all payroll in the future is compliant with the District’s Minimum Wage Act, and within 60 days of executing the settlement must confirm the operation of these policies.

The District’s minimum wage is $14.00 per hour, and will be increased to $15.00 per hour as of next Wednesday, July 1, 2020.

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