Shirt Waste

Labor regs run wild


The employees of a Papa John's franchise just outside of Albany, New York, are required to wear polo shirts to work. In accordance with state labor regulations, owner Christian King provides the red-collared shirts embroidered with the pizza shop's logo to his drivers and cooks.

But after a multiday audit by the New York Department of Labor, the pizza entrepreneur was hit with a $5,535 fine in February because state law requires employers to provide a shirt for each day of work per week. Even drivers who work only short shifts on some days must, by law, have a new shirt each day.

King can appeal the fine, but that can take years to settle while interest accumulates. "It's a gun to your head," King told the Albany Times Union. New York Assemblyman Bob Reilly (D-Colonie), a former bar owner who represents King's district, has responded to publicity surrounding the case by introducing a bill that would expedite the appeals process for small businesses.