Court: N.Y. Papa John's franchise underpaid workers

By Shaun Zinck | Mar 13, 2015

A Papa John's franchise in New York City was ordered to pay approximately $2 million in a worker-wage ruling.   Contributed photo

A New York Papa John's pizza franchise owner will pay approximately $2 million for underpaying its delivery drivers at five Harlem restaurants, New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman said.

A court ruled that New Majority Holdings and owner Ronald Johnson were liable for not adequately paying hundreds of workers in the Manhattan area.

The court said New Majority and Johnson violated the law by rounding workers' hours down to the nearest whole hour and not paying for fractions of an hour; not paying the legally required premium for overtime; paying delivery workers a lower tipped minimum wage, despite being assigned a “substantial” sum of the untipped kitchen duties and other work; and not reimbursing employees the cost of buying and maintaining bicycles used to make deliveries.

“We will continue to investigate wage and hour violations in the fast-food industry. More broadly, franchisors need to step up to the plate,” Schneiderman said. “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."

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