Better Ingredients, Better Back Pay: Papa John’s Forced To Pay $800K In Wage Theft

The CEO and founder of Papa John’s, John Schnatter, took entitled *ssholery to a whole new level when he stated that the Affordable Healthcare Act would force him to raise prices on his hot wheels of orange cardboard with sauce. Of course this is the same person who gave away 2 million free pies as part of an NFL marketing stunt and managed to find the money to buy a massive ski mansion in Utah, but mean old Obama wanted Schnatter to actually support the health of all his lowly employees who ensure his millions everyday.

Why somebody in the food industry would want their employees coming to work sick and thus hacking into the pizza dough (might be an improvement in taste) is beyond reason, but Schnatter ultimately caved amid public backlash and agreed to offer his employees health insurance.

But it seems that his company simply can’t stop being total entitled a-holes. recently reported how a Papa John’s franchise in New York was ordered to pay its workers roughly $800,000 in unpaid wages.


New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman in December sued Emstar Pizza Inc., which operates seven Papa John’s franchise locations in Brooklyn and Queens, alleging that Emstar underreported hours worked by employees over the past six years, rounded employee hours down to the nearest hour, and did not pay overtime.

Attorney General Schneiderman is also considering legal action against the franchisor, Papa John’s International Inc., on the theory that it is a joint employer and thus liable for the actions of its franchisees, according to reporting from the New York Post.

The actions by Emstar Pizza, the operator of the Papa franchise, comes after the National Labor Relations Board in July ruled McDonald’s a joint employer and therefore liable for labor or wage violations at its franchise locations. The ruling was a massive victory for basic worker’s rights and, miraculously enough, actually showed that corporations can be held liable. Okay, they can still legally rob and murder America for the most part, but this was a huge victory with sweeping implications.

Better still, it seems Attorney General Schneiderman’s successful judgment comes with an even greater caveat. For example, it prevents the franchise owner from selling the six stores unless the proceeds are deposited into an escrow account of the attorney general on behalf of the former employees.

‘This judgment sends a clear message that like every other business in New York, fast food employers must follow the law,’ Schneiderman said in a statement. ‘This Papa John’s franchisee brazenly violated the law, shaving employees’ hours and avoiding paying overtime by various means, including giving managerial sounding titles such as “head driver.”‘ (

Could this mean that corporations are finally like people in that they can be held accountable for their bullsh*t? The ruling is definitely a good start.


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