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Grocery stores fined nearly $1 million for alleged wage violations

A C-Mart supermarket in Quincy.
A C-Mart supermarket in Quincy.Craig F. Walker/Globe Staff


Grocery stores fined nearly $1 million for alleged wage violations

Three local C-Mart stores have been fined nearly $1 million for wage theft and other violations affecting more than 150 workers, Attorney General Maura Healey announced Tuesday. The Asian grocery stores, one in Quincy and two in downtown Boston (the Lincoln Street location closed permanently last year), were cited with 15 violations dating back to 2016 for denying workers overtime pay, Sunday premium pay, and paid sick time; failing to produce timekeeping records; and failing to post minimum wage notices written in Chinese, the language of most C-Mart workers. Restitution for the workers accounts for more than $350,000 of the total penalty. Corporate presidents Maio Kun Fang, Bao Song Qu, and Quxiang Lin were also cited. Fang settled with the attorney general’s office over similar violations in 2008. C-Mart did not respond to requests for comment. — KATIE JOHNSTON



Cape Cod Chamber chooses a new leader

The Cape Cod Chamber of Commerce board has picked a familiar face to many Cape business leaders with its new CEO, naming Paul Niedzwiecki, former executive director of the Cape Cod Commission, to take over for Wendy Northcross when she retires on July 1 after leading the chamber for 24 years. Niedzwiecki, 56, oversaw the Cape Cod Commission, a regional planning and regulatory agency, from 2007 through 2018. Since his tenure there, he has held management jobs at Cape Cod Healthcare and the Southfield Redevelopment Authority. Niedzwiecki said his priorities as chamber CEO will include stabilizing the Cape’s economy after the COVID-19 pandemic, increasing affordable housing, advancing water-quality initiatives, and preparing for the construction of new bridges over the Cape Cod Canal. At the chamber, he will oversee a nonprofit with a $2.2 million annual budget and a 10-person staff. — JON CHESTO


Victoria’s Secret to become separate company

A year after an agreement to sell Victoria’s Secret fell apart as the pandemic emptied malls nationwide, the chain will be spun off by its owner to become a separate company. L Brands, based in Columbus, Ohio, has been shopping the struggling chain elsewhere since the collapse of that deal and said it had held talks with a number of potential buyers, but it appears it could not come to an agreement on price. Victoria’s Secret has been trying to turn its business around, with an eye on changing the corporate culture, reinventing fashions, and redesigning stores. While the brand had been known for its sexy style, women have increasingly shifted toward more comfortable options, particularly during the pandemic when many have spent most of their time at home. — ASSOCIATED PRESS



Wall Street bankers hitting the road again

Zoom meetings may never go away, but in the fiercely competitive world of high finance, visits to faraway clients are starting to stage a rapid comeback. JPMorgan Chase, the largest US lender, already has about 30 to 40 investment bankers traveling daily, according to Jim Casey, the firm’s co-head of global investment banking. It’s another sign that big Wall Street firms are returning to their pre-pandemic ways as vaccination rates climb. At a conference last week, JPMorgan chief executive Jamie Dimon lamented business his firm lost by not visiting clients when competitors did. — BLOOMBERG NEWS


AAA predicts a busy Memorial Day weekend, but still below 2019

US highways will be far busier over the Memorial Day holiday weekend than last year, but traffic still won’t reach pre-pandemic levels, according to a forecast by the AAA auto club. AAA officials say travel will increase because more Americans have been vaccinated against COVID-19 — about one-third of US adults — and consumer confidence is growing. The auto club and insurance company said Tuesday it expects more than 37 million people to travel at least 50 miles from home during the holiday weekend, up 60 percent from last year, which was the lowest since AAA began keeping records in 2000. If the AAA forecast is right, however, it would still be 6 million people, or 13 percent, fewer than left home over Memorial Day in 2019. — ASSOCIATED PRESS



Spain approves law requiring delivery platforms to hire freelancers by August

Spain approved a pioneering law Tuesday that gives delivery platforms a mid-August deadline to hire workers currently freelancing for them and that requires transparency of artificial intelligence used to manage workforces. The royal decree passed by the center-left ruling coalition immediately affects some 30,000 couriers. It comes in the wake of a ruling by Spain’s top court last year and at a time when other countries in Europe and elsewhere are deciding on a labor model for the so-called gig economy, which is often blamed for precarious jobs and low salaries. — ASSOCIATED PRESS


Sanofi accused of destroying e-mails linked to recall of Zantac

French drug maker Sanofi destroyed internal e-mails tied to a 2019 recall of the heartburn medication Zantac, according to lawyers for more than 70,000 former patients who sued the company in the United States. The deleted e-mails, including those of Michael Bailey, the head of regulatory affairs for the company’s US Consumer Healthcare division, will make it more difficult for consumers to show Sanofi and other drug makers allowed a suspected carcinogen to taint Zantac, an over-the-counter medication, according to a May 7 court filing. Sanofi officials began an internal probe about the email destruction and are scheduled to deliver a report to a judge overseeing Zantac cases in August, the filings show. “Although Sanofi has already provided hundreds of thousands of pages of relevant discovery to the plaintiffs, Sanofi has voluntarily disclosed that certain e-mails requested by plaintiffs were not preserved as intended,” Ashleigh Koss, a US-based spokeswoman, said in an e-mail Tuesday. “There was no intentional destruction of data,” Koss said. — BLOOMBERG NEWS



Startup adds technology that can predict when food will go bad

A startup that counts Oprah Winfrey among its backers is offering a new way to let grocers know when produce will be past peak as part of its attempt to stamp out food waste. Apeel Sciences, the agriculture-technology company that began nine years ago with a $100,000 grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and is now valued at more than $1 billion, is moving into the next phase of founder James Rogers’ vision to solve the $2.6 trillion problem of discarded food. Apeel, which made its name in the food world with a patented, plant-based coating that extends the freshness of produce like avocados, English cucumbers, mangoes, and organic apples, is adding technology that can see what’s happening inside fruits and vegetables. The idea is to give everyone across the food-supply chain valuable and cost-saving information like “When will this apple go bad?” — BLOOMBERG NEWS