The operator of three northern New Jersey restaurants has learned that not cooperating with a federal investigation and ignoring several federal court orders can get you arrested.
The U.S. Marshals Service arrested Samad Uddin – also known as Saman Khan – owner of Manhattan Halal Gyro King LLC, which has locations in Teaneck, Elmwood Park and Paterson, for their failure to provide the U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division with information requested as part of a compliance investigation begun in November 2020.
“The arrest of Manhattan Halal Gyro King’s owner Samad Uddin shows that the U.S. Department of Labor will not tolerate an employer’s unwillingness to comply with federal investigators,” said Regional Solicitor Jeffrey Rogoff in New York. “The use of U.S. Marshals by a federal court also proves that we will use every available instrument to show employers are not above the law.”
An administrative subpoena was issued in December 2020, but the employer again did not supply documents and testimony under oath the division requested to determine if the employer’s pay practices complied with the Fair Labor Standards Act. In response, the department’s Office of the Solicitor completed the following actions in the U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey:
- Obtained a court order in May 2021, ordering the employer to comply with the administrative subpoena.
- Filed a motion asking the court to find Uddin in civil contempt and fine the employer for not complying.
- Obtained a court order in March 2022, that increased fines to $1,000 a day, sought payment of existing $63,000 fines and again demanded that Uddin comply with the administrative subpoena within one week of the order with a warning that arrest by federal authorities was possible.
- Asked the court to have the employer taken into custody and remain there until they complied with the subpoena and the March 2022 court order. On Dec. 12, 2022, the court approved the request.
“The Wage and Hour Division must have access to an employer’s records to ensure their business’ pay practices and other operations comply with regulations in the Fair Labor Standards Act,” said Wage and Hour Division Regional Administrator Mark Watson Jr. in Philadelphia. “Employers cannot avoid their legal responsibilities by refusing to cooperate with investigators and withholding records they request.”
Learn more about the Wage and Hour Division, including a search tool to use if you think you may be owed back wages collected by the division. Employers and workers can call the division confidentially with questions regardless of their immigration status. The department can speak with callers confidentially in more than 200 languages through the agency’s toll-free helpline at 866-4US-WAGE (487-9243).
Help ensure hours worked and pay are accurate by downloading the department’s Android Timesheet App for free.