San Francisco (cron) — Subway owners and operators accused of fraudulently issuing $265,000 checks to employees have been issued preliminary injunctions in federal court. The newspaper said he was also accused of violating child labor laws. U.S. Department of Labor.
Meza owns and operates 14 Subway franchise stores around the California Bay Area. The injunction was issued in the midst of a complaint by investigators from the DOL Wage Hours Division.
According to investigative sources, Meza instructed his 14- and 15-year-old employees to operate dangerous equipment, forced his children to work long hours when not permitted by law, and harassed his employees. He issued hundreds of bad checks, failed to pay wages and kept tips.
Meza also obstructed investigations, coerced employees not to cooperate, and threatened children who voiced concerns or tried to exercise their legal rights, the DOL said. Investigators determined that several employees at the Meza restaurant suffered burns and other injuries.
“Investigators believe the subway franchisee instructed young teens to operate ovens, toasters, cardboard balers and other equipment,” said Alberto Raymond, assistant district director of the San Francisco Wages and Hours Division. All of this is considered dangerous work.” “Courts have asked employers to stop endangering the safety and welfare of underage workers, pay workers as required by law, and allow workers to participate in our investigations without fear. I ordered you to do so.”
The federal injunction is against Meza, his two Brentwood-based companies (MZS Enterprises LLC and Crave Brands LLC), his wife Jessica Leyva Meza, and colleague Hamza Aish. The following activities are prohibited.
- Violation of child labor laws
- Harassing or threatening labor inspectors or employers
- Take retaliatory measures such as dismissal or reduction of work hours
- Threatening to report employees to law enforcement (including immigration)
Meza was also ordered to stop issuing employee checks drawn from underfunded accounts and not to pay employees using non-payroll accounts. Clearing of all checks returned between August 1, 2019 and May 19, 2023 was also ordered.
Franchisees were also directed to stop withholding unpaid wages of $265,294 from bad checks and to reimburse employees for bad check fees incurred by financial institutions.
The 14 Subway franchise stores operated by Meza and his company are:
- Antioch — 2777 Lone Tree Way
- Clayton — 1026 Oak St., Suite #103
- Concord — 301 Sun Valley Mall
- Cotati — 8500 Gravestein Highway, Unit B
- Napa — 2375 California Blvd.
- Napa — 3214 Jefferson Way
- Napa — 902 Enterprise Way, Unit A
- Petaluma — 2620 Lakeville Highway, Unit #320
- Petaluma — 221 North McDowell Blvd.
- Petaluma — 961 Lakeville Hwy
- San Pablo — 13501 San Pablo Ave.
- Santa Rosa — 124-B Calistoga Road
- Vallejo — 199 Lincoln Road West, C
- Windsor — 6400 Hembree Lane, Unit #100
“The preliminary injunction we obtained is one of the tools we use to prevent further exploitation and intimidation of our young and vulnerable workers,” said San Francisco district labor attorney Mark Pirotin. . “If worker safety is threatened and employers threaten workers or otherwise attempt to obstruct investigations, the department will take swift legal action.”
https://www.mystateline.com/news/subway-owner-who-allegedly-paid-workers-265k-in-bounced-checks-hit-with-federal-injunction/ Subway owner accused of paying workers $265,000 in bad checks gets federal injunction