A New York Papa John’s franchise owner and his company are in big, big trouble. The franchise owner, Abdul Jamil Khokhar, has been accused by New York prosecutors over not paying employees minimum wage and overtime.
He’s facing backpay of $500,000 along with the potential for jail time as well. Meanwhile, BMY Foods, which owns nine Papa John’s franchises in the Bronx with Khokhar, was charged Wednesday by the New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman and the U.S. Department of Labor. Over 300 current and former employees have been impacted by the lack of proper wages paid to them, Consumerist reported.
“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 judgment should be a wake-up call for all employers who think they can break the law, not pay their workers, cover it up and get away with it,” according to David Weil, the administrator for the U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division, in a statement.
This isn’t even the first time this year that Papa Johns’s franchise owners have found themselves in trouble. In February and March, the Attorney General charged two other franchisees for violating wage laws.