NEW YORK, NEW YORK (03/05/15) – As per a press-release from the Office of Eric Schneiderman, New York State’s Attorney General, a substantial judgment has been ordered against a Papa John’s franchisee.

As reported by Fortune, AG Schneiderman filed the lawsuit in October 2014, seeking recovery of damages for delivery employees.

New Majority Holdings, a Papa John’s franchise company, and Ronald Johnson, its owner-operator of 5 stores in Harlem, NY, must pay hundreds of his former and current delivery workers $2.12 million dollars in damages, as ordered by New York County Supreme Court Justice Joan Kenney. Judge Kenney’s decision ordered Ronald Johnson and his franchise chain to pay for unreimbursed damages, expenses, and back wages. She also ordered that interest be paid on the amount owed.

The illegal business practices which were store policy at Ronald Johnson’s franchise locations, consisted of the following:

  • Refusing to pay for fractions of hours worked: instead Ronald Johnson would only pay for whole hours and calculated such by rounding down to the closest hour;
  • Refused to pay overtime rates when warranted;
  • Paying the “tipped” minimum wage, which is lower than regular minimum wage, when employees were not out making deliveries and were instead working inside the store cleaning or preparing food; and
  • Refusing to provide payment to delivery workers for the expenses they incurred for bicycles used for delivery (in terms of buying one and maintaining it so they can work).

If you think your employer is cheating you in terms of your state’s labor law and work rules, it is advisable to consult with a lawyer whose practice includes employment law. The window of time for filing this type of lawsuit is only 180 days, although some states and municipalities give additional time (usually up to 300 days) so you need to act quickly.

If you’re not sure what the labor laws and work rules are in your state are,  go to the Employment Law section of USAttorneys, click on your state, and scroll down to read the contents. Look under the heading of “Class Action Lawsuits” for a comprehensive overview of your state’s work rules and labor standards.

For employment law issues in Massachusetts, call DinsmoreStark in Northampton at 413-341-3639.