Recently, 25 Domino's Pizza employees were terminated after voicing their concerns about their wages, claiming that they were paid only "tipped wages" but were being forced to do long periods of untipped kitchen duties. Both state and federal law sets a limit on untipped duties like kitchen and cleaning work. The employees were reinstated after the New York State attorney General reached an agreement with Domino's Pizza; however, the agreement did not resolve the wage-and-hour dispute.
Employment law in New York State protects employees from unfair practices, such as getting paid less than the minimum wage, retaliation for reporting work-related violations in good faith and breach of contract. Workers can exercise their rights if they feel that their rights are being violated. If an employer does not want to settle the dispute through negotiation, employment litigation may be the only recourse, in which case an employee may require legal assistance.
In this example, the attorney general's swift action enabled the employees to return to work in time for the holidays. The attorney stated that his office will respond to any report of employees who have faced retaliation for reporting illegal labor conditions.
Still, employees who are fired and then reinstated can file a legal action against their employer to seek compensation for their losses, such as lost wages. Filing a legal lawsuit is not easy, especially when workers go up against a big player in the industry. In Westchester, New York, before filing, it is best to explore all the legal options.
Source: CBS New York, "25 Domino's Pizza Employees Reinstated amid Wage Dispute," Dec. 12, 2013