Friday, May 24, 2024

Owner of 14 Bay Area Subways allegedly paid $265,000 in bounced ... - SFGATE

The owner of 14 Subway restaurants throughout the Bay Area has been cited for numerous violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act after investigators found that he paid employees more than $265,000 in bounced checks, in addition to ordering staff as young as 14 and 15 years old to work hours longer and later than permitted by law and to operate dangerous equipment, leading them to suffer from burns and other injuries.

In a preliminary federal court injunction announced Thursday, the U.S. Department of Labor said it is forbidding John Michael Meza from violating child labor laws, threatening and retaliating against workers and obstructing a federal investigation. Meza was also accused of failing to pay wages regularly, keeping tips intended for his staff and threatening workers who cooperated with authorities once an investigation was underway.

“Our investigators learned this Subway franchisee directed young teenagers to operate ovens, toasters, cardboard balers and other equipment, all of which are considered dangerous jobs,” Assistant District Director Alberto Raymond with the Wage and Hour Division in San Francisco said in a statement. “The court has ordered the employer to stop jeopardizing the safety and well-being of minor-aged workers, to pay workers as the law requires and to ensure that workers can participate in our investigation without fear.”

The Subway restaurants operated by Meza and involved in the case include:

- Antioch — 2777 Lone Tree Way
- Clayton —...

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