Domino’s Pizza Caught Stealing Wages, 61 Domino’s Workers to be Paid $1.28 Million

Domino’s Pizza Caught Stealing Wages, 61 Domino’s Workers to be Paid $1.28 Million
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Image from thedailymeal.com.
Image from thedailymeal.com.

(NaturalSociety) What would you do if you were fired for simply telling your boss that you hadn’t been paid correctly? A Domino’s franchise in New York City is learning the hard way that they can’t underpay workers and wrongly fire employees, and get away with it without paying a hefty price. 61 workers will receive $1.28 million from Domino’s, winning a case proving that the company was stealing wages.

All delivery workers for Domino’s  will see awards ranging from $400 to $61,300, depending upon how long they worked for the company. The lawsuit accused Domino’s of making them pay for their own uniforms, working through lunch breaks without pay, and not meeting the minimum wage of $8 when tips did not make up the difference from the $5 an hour minimum wage – a requirement for employers in the Big Apple.

Carlos Rodriguez complained about proper payment to his manager in 2007, and was not just ignored, but fired on the spot. Apparently, his dilemma was experienced by numerous other workers as well. Fortunately, Rodriguez didn’t give up there. He went to the State Department of Labor, and after they took little to no action for more than two years, he finally sought help from the Legal Aid Society which ended up representing Rodriguez and the 60 other workers.

Karen Cacace, a lawyer with the organization, said of the settlement, “Hopefully it will inspire other delivery workers and low-wage workers to take action if they’re not being paid correctly, and hopefully it will make employers recognize that there can be a significant cost to violating wage laws.”

Read: U.S. Taxpayers Pay $7 Billion Annually to Help Fast Food Workers

David Melton, the owner of the franchise said, “In any dispute people say things that may or may not be true, and that is the case here. . .We made some mistakes in our business.”

Another franchise in Florida was caught skimping on worker pay and violating labor laws, resulting in Domino’s having to pay nearly a quarter of a million to workers a few years back.

Sadly, this is not a phenomenon relegated to just Domino’s. Nearly 85% of fast food workers in New York have received similar treatment, from wage theft to numerous other abuses.

It also isn’t just a New York problem. Low wage earners in Houston and Chicago have similar complaints and aim to strengthen their labor laws to make it easier to crack down on corporate abuse.
Wage strikes may cause these mega-companies to pay up, though, they are breaking out nationwide – calling for a higher minimum wage and the right to form a union, which would handle many of these wage disputes. It seems the sleeping lion is waking.