Most people in Texas, and elsewhere, are aware that disputes with employees can be costly and disruptive to business. What many do not realize is that business owners who violate state or federal laws could also face serious legal ramifications. In addition to being ordered to pay restitution, or other damages, employers may also be sentenced to a jail or prison term.
According to reports, a New York City businessman is facing serious consequences after he allegedly violated state and federal wage and hour laws. The man owns, and with his business operated, nine Papa John’s franchise locations. Officials with the U.S. Department of Labor and the New York attorney general’s office purport that workers at the man’s restaurants regularly worked overtime, but were not paid time-and-a-half for those hours. News reports alleged that he, and his business, also took steps to cover up the underpayments.
The man reportedly agreed to pay $50,000 in civil penalties as a part of a settlement with the Labor Department. He will also pay $230,000 in damages to his workers. Recently, the man was sentenced to serve 60 days in jail for his violation of the minimum wage and overtime laws. Additionally, his franchise locations will have their books reviewed by an independent auditor. It was not disclosed how long the franchises will be subject to outside auditing.
Employment laws are in place to protect workers, as well as their employers. Should a violation occur, it could lead to serious ramifications for business owners. As such, those who are under investigation, or who have been accused, of breaching these laws may benefit from consulting with an attorney. A legal representative may look out for their interests, and help ensure their rights are upheld.
Source: The Huffington Post, “Papa John’s Franchisee Gets Jail Time For Failing To Pay Full Wages,” Dave Jamieson, Nov. 16, 2015