WASHINGTON, D.C. – Attorney General Karl A. Racine announced a settlement today with Mitra QSR KNE, LLC, which owns and operates two KFC fast-food franchises in the District, over allegations that it failed to pay its employees in accordance with the District’s minimum-wage laws. The settlement provides $10,129.44 in back wages and restitution to 18 employees, and $10,000 in payments to the District. This settlement is part of Attorney General Racine’s efforts to strengthen enforcement of the District’s wage and hour laws, hold employers accountable to those laws, and educate workers on their rights.
“District residents work hard for their paychecks, and we are here to make sure they get what they have earned,” Attorney General Racine said. “Paying employees fairly is an essential part of ensuring that everyone benefits from the District's booming economy, and we will continue to hold employers accountable to following the law.”
Individual workers eligible for the settlement will be receiving as much as $4,257.24 in back wages they are owed. The settlement also requires Mitra to certify its compliance with the District’s minimum wage laws going forward. Mitra cooperated with the Office of the Attorney General (OAG) throughout the investigation. A copy of the settlement is available here.
OAG’s Bolstered Efforts to Fight Wage Theft
Last year, Attorney General Racine obtained legislative changes and additional staff to strengthen enforcement of the District’s wage and hour laws. While OAG previously brought wage enforcement actions in cases initiated and investigated by the District’s Department of Employment Services (DOES), the legislative changes provide the Attorney General with independent enforcement authority. Now, OAG can initiate cases, subpoena employers, and compel them to turn over payroll records and other documentation of their compliance with the District’s wage laws. The changes have also streamlined the process by which OAG can enforce DOES orders. In order to exercise this new authority and better protect workers, OAG dedicated additional staff resources to fight wage theft.
OAG Resources for Workers
OAG has resources for workers to help protect themselves against unscrupulous employers. Workers can access the OAG resources in both English and Spanish, which includes comprehensive information about the District’s wage and hour laws and information about where workers can get help if their rights are being violated. OAG is also providing free wage and hour log books, where workers can keep track of their wages and hours and help ensure they actually receive the pay they earn. Workers can print the log book here.
How to Report Wage Theft
Workers who have experienced wage theft or other wage violations can contact the Office of the Attorney General’s Housing and Community Justice Section by phone at (202) 442-9854.