The owner of five Papa John's locations in NYC has been ordered to pay a whopping $2.12 million in a wage theft lawsuit won by Attorney General Eric Schneiderman. Ronald Johnson, the franchisee and owner of New Majority Holdings LLC, was sued by Schneiderman last October for wage theft violations to over 400 delivery workers for the pizza chain. The Associated Press reports that the judgement filed in state court this week includes back pay for the workers as well as restitution in the form of "unreimbursed expenses, damages and interest."
A year-long investigation conducted by the Attorney General's Labor Bureau revealed a various forms of wage theft: minimum wage violations of $5 per hour, not paying overtime, rounding down workers' time to the nearest whole hour and not paying the remainder. Workers were also required to purchase and maintain their delivery bicycles, as well as locks, helmets and other safety gear to the tune of $500 per worker per year.
In 2002, Johnson was named to Crain's 40 under 40 list for his then burgeoning franchise business. "Beyond making money, I'm getting to have an impact on other people's lives," he told Crains at the time. "I'm having a lot of fun." Another City Papa John's owner was ordered to pay $800,000 in February following a similar investigation by Schneiderman's office. Though a victory for the state, workers often don't receive the money they're owed.