Source: cinematreasures.org

Jose Hector Hernandez Gramajo, the owner of a company contracted to clean the United Artists Sheepshead Bay Stadium 14 Movie Theater (3907 Shore Parkway), will be spending his weekends in prison for nearly a year as punishment for underpaying employees, New York’s Attorney General Eric Schneiderman announced Friday.

Aside from overworking employees with little pay, the dirty cleaner gave checks to workers as part of settlement for back wages. But he told those workers to cash the checks and return the money or be fired.

“This employer not only robbed his employees of a lawful wage, but also attempted to deny them back wages, even after a federal investigation into his labor abuses,” said Schneiderman in a press release. “We will pursue full accountability, including jail time, for any employer who shows such blatant disregard for rule of law and for workers’ rights.”

Hernandez Gramajo, 37, was the owner of Royal Commercial Cleaning, which counted approximately 27 movie theaters in the tri-state area as clients before shuttering in 2012, when Hernandez Gramajo was arrested. The company was found by investigators to have been paying employees below minimum wage and failing to give overtime.

According to the attorney general’s office, Hernandez Gramajo paid his employees a flat fee of $700 to $800 twice a month, despite working them for eight hour days, seven days a week.

The state’s minimum wage recently increased to $8 an hour, and law requires that employers pay time-and-a-half for hours past 40 hours a week.

Hernandez Gramajo will spend weekends behind bars totaling 90 days, and has also been ordered to pay $60,000 in restitution to the the employees. Of that, approximately $8,000 will be paid to the two employees he gave checks as part of a previous settlement for underpayment, who he threatened with termination if the money wasn’t returned in cash.

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  • Supporter of LeftHand Rule

    Greedy scum, and guess what? We the taxpayer subsidized his slave wages when his workers had to go on Food Stamps and other gvt programs and visit pantries and food banks. Ditto for most fast food stores that pay min. wage and expect Me and You (US) to subisidize their lousy wages. For our own best interest we need to support The Living Wage. Similar story in The Daily News this time about workers at the Airports who are being squeezed.

  • Andrew Kent

    27 movie theaters, and nobody at the theater end knew this was happening? When contractors break the law, companies that contract with them should be responsible for ensuring that the contracts protect workers just as if those workers were employed by the company itself and should immediately terminate any contract that is not being complied with or is in violation of the law. The Federal and State Labor Departments should follow up on the AG’s prosection and investigate this and similar cases to see if the theaters knew of the abuses and chose to ignore them. My guess is that most of these exploited workers were undocumented aliens who had more at risk than their jobs were they to blow the whistle.

    • Splatterhouse

      Its not the movie theatres’ business or responsibility. Yes they contract outside work, but they arent liable for thier business practices. They are within thier rights to deny work or cancel a contract, but not tell other businesses how to run thiers.