Papa Ain’t Payin: Franchise Owner Caught Stiffing Hundreds Of Employees

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Ted Goodman Contributor
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The owner of three Papa John’s franchises in New York City has agreed to pay $500,000 to more than 200 employees who were underpaid for work, including overtime pay.

According to the New York Daily News, Papa John’s franchisee Sultan Ali Lakhani will pay the $500,000 as part of a settlement with the state attorney general and Department of Labor.

The Labor Department conducted a three-year investigation into the franchisee, after claims he violated state and federal labor laws. Lakhani owns three franchises in the Bronx and Manhattan.

State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman has seemingly made it a part of his mission to compel the Papa to pay up, with this being his eighth case brought against a franchisee of the popular pizza joint. Schneiderman said that, “When businesses brazenly violate the law by systematically failing to pay their employees minimum and overtime wages, they rip off some of our state’s most vulnerable workers.”

In November, 2015, Schneiderman’s office actually sentenced a Papa John’s franchise owner to two months in jail for wage theft. Abdul Jamil Khokhar was ordered to spend 60 days in jail for failing to pay employees $230,000 in wages. Khokhar failed to pay workers overtime wages and instead just paid workers the same straight rate of pay for all hours worked, including hours in excess of 40.

Lakhani’s three restaurants must also implement procedures to handle employee complaints, post a statement of employee rights, and designate a compliance officer who will submit quarterly reports to Schneiderman’s office.

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