Below is the first part of an article by Johnathan Maza from nrn.com. It reads…
A judge in New York has ordered a Papa John’s franchisee to pay nearly $800,000 over allegations that the operator underpaid employees and didn’t pay overtime.
Emstar Pizza Inc., which operates seven Papa John’s locations in Brooklyn and Queens, N.Y., along with its owners, Emmanuel and Uchenna Onuaguluchi, were ordered to pay workers $789,507.06 in unpaid wages, damages, interest and other costs.
The attorney general sued the franchisee in December, alleging that Emstar underreported hours worked by employees over the past six years, rounded hours down to the nearest whole hour and didn’t pay overtime.
The order also prevents Emstar Pizza from selling any units unless proceeds from the sale are held in escrow until the attorney general can distribute funds to current and former workers.
“This judgment sends a clear message that like every other business in New York, fast food employers must follow the law,” New York State attorney general Eric Schneiderman said in a statement. “This Papa John’s franchisee brazenly violated the law, shaving employees’ hours and avoiding paying overtime by various means, including giving managerial sounding titles such as ‘head driver.’
According to the New York Post, Schneiderman was considering an action against the franchisor, Papa John’s International Inc. That would be another test of the National Labor Relations Board’s decision to consider McDonald’s Corp. a joint employer of workers employed by franchisees. The decision could make franchisors liable for the employment actions of operators.
A spokeswoman for Schneiderman would not comment on the Post report.