• Noble Roman's franchisee abandons 20 stores, employees not paid

INDIANAPOLIS -- A franchisee of 20 Noble Roman's Pizza stores in Indiana has abandoned his properties, shorting more than a hundred workers two to three weeks' pay.

According to a report in the Indianapolis Star, franchisee Bryan West is behind on licensing fees owed to Noble Roman's and payments to other creditors.

Via an April 18 letter, West informed his employees he couldn't pay them. "Unfortunately, any amounts that are owed to you will not be paid."

Ironically, a late-April ruling by the Indiana Supreme Court stated that workers whose pay is unduly withheld by employers can file suits and claim up to three times their unpaid wages.

When the Star contacted West at his new restaurant, West Wings, he told the paper that his business never recovered from the economic fallout from Sept. 11, but that he's working on a way to pay his employees.

A Pennsylvania-based Noble Roman's franchisee has taken over some of West's properties, but five stores will close permanently. In the meantime, the unnamed franchisee is attempting to cover some of West's former employees' pay.

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