Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Wage Theft, Sham Charities & More

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Cracking Down On Wage Theft At Papa John’s Restaurants

Nine Papa John’s Pizza restaurants in New York City will paynearly $500,000 in back wages and damages to 250 workers they ripped off. An investigation with the U.S. Department of Labor found that these restaurants failed to pay their employees proper minimum wage and overtime pay, among other violations. This is the latest is a series of settlements with Papa John’s restaurants across New York City, and the Attorney General is sending a strong message: he will not stop until workers are treated with respect and paid lawful wages. Papa John’s and other fast food companies must step up and stop the widespread lawlessness plaguing their businesses. 

Shutting Down Sham Charitable Organizations

The Attorney General announced that his office obtained an order to dissolve an animal hospice and rehabilitation charity that misused $3.1 million in donations. While the charity had been touted on shows such as Oprah and Martha Stewart, an investigation found that owner Susan Marino actually used donations to cover living expenses. The charity will now be dissolved, and the remaining funds will be directed to a different animal care and protection charity. When New Yorkers donate their hard-earned dollars to a charity, they should not have to worry that their generosity is being exploited. 

Cutting Costs For New Yorkers At Urgent Care Centers

Four urgent care centers in New York City and Long Islandhave agreed to improve their disclosure of accepted insurance plans. These agreements build upon letters the Attorney General issued to 20 urgent care centers requesting information about representations on websites that the centers’ participate in certain health plans. When urgent care centers provide clear and detailed information about their participation in health plans, consumers will be protected from unexpected medical billings and there will be lower costs for patients. These agreements also represent the first enforcement action of New York’s ‘Surprise Bill Law,” which in part requires providers to disclose in writing or online the health care plans in which the provider participates. 

Protecting Tenants During Condo Conversions

The developer of an Upper East Side condominium will pay $1.75 million to the city and state for improperly terminating leases for market-rate tenants during a condo conversion. An investigation by the Real Estate Finance Bureau found the developer terminated 82 leases during the conversion and only allowed tenants to stay for an additional six months if they waived standard legal protections. As part of the settlement, the developer will pay $1.5 million to New York City’s Affordable Housing AG Settlement Fund, which was established in 2014 to help finance affordable housing for low income New Yorkers. More than $7 million has now been given to the settlement fund from agreements the Attorney General has reached as a result of investigations into violations of state rent stabilization laws. 
Have a question, comment, or complaint? Click here. You can also learn more about the various initiatives of the Attorney General's office by visiting our website at ag.ny.gov

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