The court ordered Subway concessionaires to pay nearly $1 million to workers

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — A federal court has ordered the owners of 14 Subway locations north of San Francisco to pay employees nearly $1 million in damages and back wages — and also sell or close their businesses, with any proceeds from the sale going to the Justice Department. exhaustion.

Federal investigators said franchise owners John and Jessica Meza directed children as young as 14 to operate dangerous machinery, assigned work hours to minors that violated federal law, and failed to pay their employees regularly, including by issuing hundreds of bad checks and illegally withholding tips that Its owners left it. Client.

The Labor Department also accused Meza’s family of coercing employees in an attempt to prevent them from cooperating with its investigations, and that her colleague Hamza Ayesh played a role in those efforts, including threatening an employee who complained about receiving a bad check.

The Meza family did not admit to threatening or coercing employees, according to their lawyer Arkady Aytkin, who added that they admitted to issuing bad checks and violating some business standards. He added that Ayesh did not admit to threatening an employee, but agreed to settle what Aitken called a “he-said, she-said situation” to put an end to it.

Itkin added that the Mezas are people of modest means and are unlikely to be able to pay the amount agreed upon in the court order. “The settlement agreement might make it seem like they’re only going to get $1 million,” he said. “It won’t happen.”

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