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New York City Papa Johns in Hot Seat Over Wage Violations

Allegations of wage violations put employee rights in the spotlight

A New York City franchise of Papa Johns has been accused of skipping out on obligations to pay overtime and minimum wage. The issue was exposed after New York Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman filed a complaint against BMY Foods Inc. and Abdul Jamil Khokhar. Together, they operate nine separate pizza franchises in the Bronx. This isn’t the first time that Schneiderman has come after Papa Johns, either: this is actually the third complaint filed this year against a Papa John’s franchise on the grounds of wage theft violations.

In this case, approximately 300 employees, both current and former, were denied minimum wage and overtime. The franchise operators generated fictitious employee identities in order to conceal overtime, attempting to protect themselves from problems by filing fraudulent tax returns in New York. The attorney general’s office is seeking about $230,000 in back wages to the impacted employees.

Federal law and state law both require that employers pay overtime at a rate of one and a half times the regular pay rate and minimum wage for all other hours worked. The minimum wage across New York is $8.75. Overtime kicks in once an employee has worked more than 40 hours in a workweek. According to the complaint filed against BMY Foods and Khokhar, the employers mandated that workers use fictitious names to receive pay once their weekly hours hovered around 35, paying out overtime hours in cash. To keep up with the computerized system for employee management, the owners created fake profiles and required actual employees to submit their time through this false identities.

As part of the outcome of this most recent complaint, the franchises in question will be responsible for creating procedures to be reviewed by a compliance officer after a full audit of practices has been completed. This complaint comes after an increased national focus on wage theft and employee rights violations, most recently highlighted in a National Labor Relations Board ruling that corporate entities (such as Papa Johns) could be held responsible for illegal employment actions taken by franchise owners.

Anyone who has been a victim of wage theft in New York City should have his or her case evaluated by an experienced employment law attorney. The wage theft attorneys at Hepworth, Gershabum & Roth, PLLC have more than 70 years of combined experience litigating wage theft matters in state and federal courts. We are committed to fighting for employee rights and fair wages. Set up a consultation in our New York City office today by calling 212-545-1199 or contact us online.




Contact an employment law attorney in New York today for a free initial consultation and determine whether you have a case. For a free initial consultation, you can contact us online or by phone.

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