MANHATTAN (CN) - Five Papa John's franchises in Harlem skimped on overtime, minimum wage and expenses to the tune of more than $2.1 million, a judge ruled.
New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman announced the judgment on Thursday, a day after the Feb. 24, 2015, order became public, he noted.
The ruling followed another $800,000 judgment against Papa John's last month in a case against a separate franchise.
"Within the last two months, courts have found that two Papa John's franchisees owe almost $3 million to their workers," Schneiderman said. "We will continue to investigate wage and hour violations in the fast food industry. More broadly, franchisors need to step up to the plate. I call on all fast food franchisors, including Papa John's, to take steps necessary to ensure that their workers - the backbone of their business - are treated fairly and paid the wages the law requires."
The latest order, by Manhattan County Supreme Court Justice Joan Kenney orders the pizzerias to stop their practice of "shaving, or rounding down, delivery workers' hours." The franchises also must make sure not to repeat the wage violations that led to the judgment, she wrote.
The $2,126,166.34 judgment against the Papa John's franchisee, New Majority Holdings LLC, and its owner and operator, Ronald Johnson, is for eight violations of state law against 447 underpaid workers, Schneiderman said.
One former worker Luis Juarez spoke of his experiences in Schneiderman's press release."Although my employers only paid me to make deliveries, they assigned me work on everything," he said. "I had to make pizzas, pack up the food, and organize boxes, all for a salary of $5.00 per hour. And when my bike was stolen the on the street, my employers threatened to fire me from my job if I did not buy another one immediately."
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