On Tuesday, May 24, 2016, Eric Schneiderman, attorney general of New York, filed a lawsuit against the popular pizza chain, Domino's on the grounds that it systematically does not pay its employees their deserved wages. What makes this suit especially interesting is that the lawsuit is not directed at a specific store or franchise, but rather the corporation itself.
In the suit, 10 Domino's stores in New York were alleged to be underpaying their employees by as much as $565,000. Schneiderman's office said that an online software system named PULSE is used for payroll reporting. The suit claims that the PULSE program regularly miscalculates workers' gross wages, effectively shorting them in their paychecks. The suit also states that Domino's headquarters was aware of the discrepancies, but deemed it a low priority.
Since the Domino's corporation handles the internal work of the franchises and shops, they are to blame for these oversights and violations of their employees' rights, according to the New York attorney general. Workers are protected under federal, state and local laws from employers violating their rights. The lawsuit states that Domino's "disregards the nature of franchising and demeans the role of small business owners," according to the lawsuit.
Domino's has over 4,800 franchised locations throughout the United States owned by 841 franchisees, according to their annual report. The corporation itself owns 384 stores. This is not the first time Domino's has been involved in such a suit. In 2014, a group of franchisees were ordered to pay almost a half a million dollars to workers in a similar wages theft lawsuit.
If workers believe that their rights have been violated by their employers, they have the option of seeking more information about the law and their rights.
Source: Huffington Post, "Domino's Accused Of Fraud and 'Systemic Wage Theft' By New York State," Dave Jamieson, May 24, 2016