A Papa Johns franchisee will serve jail time for failing to pay for overtime hours.
Fast food employees often work long hours for menial pay. But a civil suit in New York has found that some workers at one pizza chain received even less pay than they were legally entitled to.
Abdul Jamil Khokhar owns nine Papa Johns pizza restaurants in New York City, according to Fortune. Earlier this year he was charged with cheating more than 300 employees by failing to pay them for overtime hours, as required by law. Khokhar was also accused of falsifying documents to cover up the crime.
The suit brought by the New York Attorney General and the U.S. Department of Labor exposed how Khokhar created fake employee documents to hide the scheme. Employees who worked overtime were told to punch out at the end of their shifts and then punch in with one of the fake documents, making it appear as if no one was working hours that would call for overtime pay.
The lawsuit also alleged that Khokhar filed fraudulent tax returns with the State of New York that omitted payments made under fictitious names.
New York’s current minimum wage is $8.75 per hour, higher than the federal minimum wage of $7.25 per hour. By law, employers in New York must pay the higher rate.
Under settlement terms in the case, Khokhar will spend 60 days in jail. In addition, he has agreed to pay $230,000 in damages, $50,000 in civil penalties, and $230,000 in restitution for unpaid wages.
In a statement, New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman said, “Wage theft is a crime and a Papa John’s franchisee is now going to jail for cheating his employees and trying to cover it up. My office will do everything in its power to protect the rights of New York’s workers and make sure that all employers – including fast food restaurants – follow the law.”