A New York Papa John’s franchise owner was accused of not paying employees minimum wage or for overtime on Wednesday.
The franchise owner, Abdul Jamil Khokar, owes $500,000 in backpay and faces jail time after being charged by New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman and Administrator for the U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division David Weil. BMY, a company that owned nine Papa John’s stores in the Bronx alongside Khokar, was charged as well.
Khokar and BMY allegedly failed to pay 300 employees, created fake identities to conceal overtime work so they would not have to pay and filed false tax returns, according to court documents.
“My office will not hesitate to criminally prosecute any employer who underpays workers and then tries to cover it up by creating fake names and filing fraudulent tax returns,” said Attorney General Schneiderman in a statement. “We will continue to be relentless in pursuing the widespread labor law violations, large and small, which we have found in the fast food industry. And I call on franchisors to stand up and stop the widespread lawlessness plaguing your businesses and harming your hardworking employees.”
This is not the first time a Papa John’s was under fire for not paying employees. In February and March 2015 two different Papa John’s franchisees, Emstar Pizza and New Majority Holdings, were found guilty of violating wage laws. The judgments against those two companies totaled almost $3 million.