Papa John's 4 NY franchisees to pay US$500,000 in back wages

Violations relate to payment of minimum wage, overtime

(Reuters) — Four franchisees of pizza chain Papa John's International Inc will pay US$500,000 in back wages and damages to about 250 workers, following an investigation by the New York attorney general and the U.S. Department of Labor.

The investigation was made on three current Papa John's franchisees and one former, which together own nine restaurants in Queens, the Bronx and Brooklyn.

The franchisees admitted to a number of violations related to the payment of minimum wages and overtime, as well as other basic labour law protections, Attorney General Eric Schneiderman said on Thursday.

The employers also failed to provide adequate uniforms and laundry allowance to workers, the attorney general said.

Papa John's was not immediately available to comment.

"Once again, we've found Papa John's franchises in New York that are ripping off their workers and violating critical state and federal laws," Schneiderman said.

In July, Abdul Jamil Khokhar, the owner of nine Papa John's franchises in the Bronx, was arrested for failing to pay minimum wages and overtime, the statement said.

In February, Schneiderman obtained judgments against two other Papa John's franchisees for violating wage laws. Those judgments totaled almost US$3 million.

Minimum wage for fast-food workers in New York City will be raised to US$15 an hour by the end of 2018 and the hike will take effect in the rest of the state by mid-2021.

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