jS&L Vegetables, Corp. And J&B Vegetables, Inc. – Operating As Apna Bazar – Failed To Pay Minimum Wage And Overtime To Over 150 Employees
jGrocer Paid Nearly $450,000 In Restitution To Workers For Unpaid Wages And Over $160,000 In Unpaid Unemployment Contributions
jTo Date, A.G. Schneiderman Has Won Back Nearly $30 Million In Stolen Wages For Over 21,000 Workers Across New York
New York –(By our staff reporter) Hicksville- Apna Bazar, a popular South Asian ethnic grocery chain incorporated as S&L Vegetables, Corp. And J&B Vegetables, Inc. have pleaded guilty and were convicted of Grand Larceny, Falsifying Business Records, Failure to Pay Wages, and Willful Failure to Pay Contributions. The plea agreement mandates that Apna Bazar pay a total of $447,832.11 for unpaid wages and $162,445.47 in unpaid unemployment contributions to the New York State Department of Labor (“NYSDOL”). Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman today announced the guilty pleas and convictions of S&L Vegetables, Corp. and J&B Vegetables, Inc., two grocers that did business as Apna Bazar Cash & Carry (“Apna Bazar”) and operated two food markets in Floral Park and Hicksville, NY. Each Apna Bazar market pled guilty to one count of Grand Larceny in the Third Degree, one count of Falsifying Business Records in the First Degree, one count of Failure to Pay Wages, and one count of Willful Failure to Pay Contributions. The plea agreement mandates that Apna Bazar pay a total of $447,832.11 for unpaid wages and $162,445.47 in unpaid unemployment contributions to the New York State Department of Labor (“NYSDOL”)–bringing the total wages recovered by Attorney General Schneiderman since taking office to nearly $30 million for more than 21,000 workers. Today, the Queens County Supreme Court sentenced each Apna Bazar market to a three-year conditional discharge with a condition that the stores undergo monitoring for one year. The Court also ordered the defendants to pay restitution for the back wages and unemployment insurance contributions, which the Attorney General’s Office confirmed has been paid in full by the defendants. “The defendants in this case acted out of greed, cheating over 150 hardworking employees out of hundreds of thousands of dollars in wages they earned,” said Attorney General Schneiderman. “My office will continue to enforce wage and labor laws to make sure that New Yorkers get the pay they rightfully earn and ensure companies are meeting their obligations to the unemployment insurance safety net.” An investigation conducted by the New York State Department of Labor and referred to the Attorney General’s Office revealed that between 2012 and 2015, Apna Bazar repeatedly failed to pay proper minimum wage and overtime to more than 150 employees working at both of these markets. Many of these employees worked over 60 hours per week but were paid a fixed daily amount, which often resulted in paychecks that were well below the state minimum wage for even a typical 40 hour workweek. In addition, the employees did not receive proper overtime compensation of time-and-one half for working over 40 hours in a week.