Alleged theft by employees leads to closure of Duncan restaurant

Published: Apr. 5, 2022 at 6:26 PM CDT
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DUNCAN, Okla. (KSWO) - A Duncan couple is searching for answers as to why their son has been working at a restaurant without earning a dime for nearly a month.

Now, the Papa John’s that still hasn’t paid Adrian Baker is closing down permanently, according to the owner.

April Albert and David Harrison say their 19-year-old son has worked at Papa John’s in Duncan for nearly a month without receiving a paycheck. Despite reaching out to corporate offices and the owner, Adrian Baker is still owed hundreds of dollars.

Baker spent his own money paying for gas to make deliveries for Papa John’s.

“He’s been offered cash instead of a paycheck and there’s no tracking of how many deliveries he’s done to even get paid for that,” Albert said. “The run around, time after time for his paycheck, then one minute he is for sure going to get paid and the next they just don’t show up.”

Tuesday, the general manager told Baker he’d pay him with money from the cash register and safe.

When they got to the restaurant, the GM told Baker he couldn’t pay him because another employee stole all the money in the store.

“He just kept on trying to give them the benefit of the doubt,” Albert said. “He kept on saying, ‘Something’s not right, something’s not right.’ And then we was like, ‘Today’s the day, today’s the day. They’re telling him.’ He even showed us messages that he was going to get paid and the day never came.”

The owner alleged that he tried to pay Baker via wire transfer, Venmo or CashApp, but his mother said they never even heard back after reaching out to him.

“He’s always been a hard worker,” Baker said. “He’s had his own car and now it’s like he’s on ground level and it’s heartbreaking. It’s really affected him tremendously.”

18-year-old Eric Mayes worked there up until last month and his parents had to get involved, contacting corporate for answers, in order for him to get a final paycheck.

“If I’m going to work, drive my own vehicle around to Comanche, Marlow, drive around Duncan, I expect to get paid,” Mayes said. “I make $300 car payments for my car. If I don’t get a paycheck, I’m not going to make that. Some people can’t eat without pay.”

Albert and Harrison said they just want the owner to step up and do the right thing.

“I would hope that they would right their wrongs,” Harrison said. “There’s been many employees that currently working there. There are some that are past employees that are still yet to be paid, and I feel that if you work hard for your money, you should be paid.”

Albert and Harrison say the next step is reaching out to the State Department of Labor.

7NEWS reached out to Papa John’s corporate office to see if they’re aware of the situation, but we haven’t received a response.

The owner told us “the store is no longer operational due to multiple employee theft issues from the safe.”

We’ll keep you updated as we get more information.

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