Family Dollar is facing a $1.5 million fine from the state of Massachusetts for not giving its workers regular lunch breaks.
Two Massachusetts Family Dollar workers of them say the chain has seen a shortage of workers since before the pandemic.
Renee Daniels worked as a manager at a Family Dollar store in Massachusetts for three years, and she says she quit just before the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic because the job was taking a toll on her health.
"I ended up really sick because of it, and in the hospital, because I couldn't, you know, consume the amount of protein that I needed throughout the day, drinking throughout the day," Daniels said.
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Max Amilcar was also a manager at another Family Dollar location and says he couldn't keep up, to the point that he was forced to work in his spare time to process something as basic as payroll.
"I feel bad for those people, they can't even pay their bills, and then they don't give them breaks," Amilcar said.
According to the office of Attorney General Maura Healey, Family Dollar prevented more than 600 employees from taking their meal breaks due to a lack of staff.
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More than 3,900 violations of state meal break laws were reported, for which the state fined the company $1.5 million in penalties.
"I know they owe me more than $10,000 about my holiday and my sick time," Amilcar said "I'd be so happy if they would give me that check back, I will take it."
The attorney general's office is awaiting Family Dollar's response and says it is likely to appeal.
The $1.5 million in penalties would be left to the state, but the workers say they would like to receive compensation.
Telemundo Nueva Inglaterra and NBC10 Boston asked Family Dollar for comment, but have not heard back.