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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
District of Massachusetts

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Harvard Couple Plead Guilty To Fair Labor Standards Act ViolationDefendants Failed To Pay Their Nanny Minimum Wage For More Than 13 Years

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Boston – A Harvard, Mass. couple today pleaded guilty to an Information in federal court charging them with one count of violating the Fair Labor Standards Act. The couple failed to pay their nanny and housekeeper minimum wage for over 13 years. As part of their plea agreement, the defendants will pay the nanny a substantial portion of the wages owed her.

Martha, 48 and Richard Smalanskas, 49, hired a 16-year-old Bolivian nanny, in Bolivia, to cook, clean and take care of their children. After three years, they brought her to the United States under false documentation which made it appear as if the nanny was related to them. Once here, her travel documents were taken away and she was required to work long hours. She was promised, but not paid, a wage of up to $150 per month even though the nanny was working 80 hours per week. The Smalanskases were aware that they were not paying the nanny minimum wage; in fact, the total amount they paid her over those years was less than $2,500, plus the room and board they provided.

The Smalanskases face up to one year probation, a $10,000 fine and restitution. Sentencing is set for April 2, 2014.

Updated December 15, 2014