Sacramento, CA - Eight Papa John's locations in the Sacramento area closed without warning on Friday, surprising both customers and employees of the stores, who apparently were not notified... or paid.
A note on left on the door of one of the locations blamed "circumstances beyond our control" for the closure, and advised employees to file for unemployment insurance. It also implied that APNA Investments, the owner of the franchises, planned to file for bankruptcy.
Interestingly, the note advised employees who had left possessions inside the stores to contact "Chet," giving the impression that the closures were indeed as sudden as reported.
An employee from one of the locations told News 10 that he suspected the restaurant was in trouble when the bank refused to cash his last paycheck.
Another employee posted a photo of the closure note on reddit, and explained that the closures occurred on payday. This left himself and 50+ other employees without pay for the previous two weeks.
A Papa John's corporate spokesman said that the company was equally surprised by the sudden closures. "We certainly could have helped them look at some other options," he said. He added that the corporation will look for another franchisee to take over some or all of the closed locations.
APNA has kept three of their Papa John's franchises open in Sacramento, despite the eight other closures.
An employee of the U.S. Department of Labor's Wage and Hour Division said that Papa John's workers out two weeks pay actually do have several options.
"By refusing to pay you and your coworkers for two weeks of work, your employer has clearly violated Section 6 of the FLSA," the WHD employee said.
"Remember that under the FLSA, employees are legally entitled to their back wages and an equal amount in liquidated damages for any wage violation (otherwise, there would be no deterrent to prevent employers from always screwing over workers)."
Of course once that's settled, each jilted Papa John's employee is well within their legal rights to pursue private action, i.e. lawsuits.
[Image: Wikimedia Commons]