Subway Restaurant Franchise in Manhattan Pays for Wage Violations, Retaliatory Firing

September 29, 2023

The operator of a Subway restaurant franchise in Manhattan’s Lower East Side who the Department of Labor said fired an employee during its investigation has paid damages to the employee and back pay to 18 employees, the department’s wage and hour division reported.

The wage and hour investigators said they found that NPK Foods Inc., which operates the Subway franchise at 334 Grand St., violated the anti-retaliation provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) when it pressured one employee to sign a document falsely claiming there were no violations, they had been paid in full, and there had been no threats or poor treatment. The employer also told the employee to return any back wage payment to the employer, then later fired the employee.

The department said the employer also violated federal minimum wage, overtime and recordkeeping requirements by not compensating employees for training time, paying some employees straight time for all hours worked, and failing to keep accurate records of the total hours worked by employees.

According to the department, to resolve its violations, NPK Foods has paid the former employee $10,000 in punitive damages and paid $3,907 in back wages and liquidated damages to 18 employees. The recovery compensates all 18 employees denied the required minimum wage and three employees who did not receive the overtime wages they earned, according to officials.

“Requiring employees to lie to federal investigators isn’t and should never be a condition of employment,” said District Director Jorge R. Alvarez in New York.

The FLSA requires that most employees in the U.S. be paid at least the federal minimum wage for all hours worked and overtime pay at not less than time and one-half the required rate of pay for all hours worked over 40 in a workweek. It also prohibits employers from firing or taking adverse action against employees for exercising their rights.

Source: U.S. Department of Labor Wage and Hour Division

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