Tag Archives: Attorney General

10 Domino’s Franchise Locations Will Pay $480K For Violating Workers’ Rights

dominos pizza logo

New York Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman announced settlements with three Domino’s Pizza franchisees, totaling $480,000 in restitution to hundreds of workers subject to wage and labor violations at ten different franchise locations.  The Attorney General filed a lawsuit in May 2016 against these three franchisees and their franchisor Domino’s Pizza, Inc., Domino’s Pizza LLC, and Domino’s Pizza Franchising LLC (collectively, “Domino’s”) seeking restitution from Domino’s and its franchisees for a number of alleged violations, including violations against minimum wage, overtime, and other basic labor law protections.

As part of the settlement agreements for the wage theft violations, the three franchisees will be dismissed from the lawsuit, and only the franchise Domino’s remains as a defendant.  The Attorney General has now settled investigations into labor law violations at 71 Domino’s franchise locations in New York State, owned by fifteen individual franchisees.  These locations comprise more than half of the franchise stores and over a third of the total number of Domino’s stores in New York.  The Attorney General’s office has secured nearly $2 million in total restitution for Domino’s workers statewide through these settlements.

“In the past three years, my office’s investigations have revealed a consistent and outrageous record of disregard for workers’ rights by franchisees, and as we allege, with the full knowledge of Domino’s Pizza,” Attorney General Schneiderman said. “My office will continue with our lawsuit against Domino’s Pizza to end the systemic violations of workers’ rights that have occurred in franchises across the State.  We will not allow businesses to turn a blind eye to blatant violations that are cheating hard working New Yorkers out of a fair day’s pay.”

Eight of the stores involved in the settlements announced today were owned jointly by Shueb Ahmed and Anthony Maestri, with locations in New York, Nassau and Westchester Counties.  Two of the stores were owned by Matthew Denman and located in Montgomery County.  Shueb Ahmed will pay $150,000 in restitution to workers, Matthew Denman will pay $90,000 and Anthony Maestri will pay $240,000.

In the continuing lawsuit against Domino’s, the Attorney General has asserted that Domino’s was heavily involved in the employment practices of the three franchisees and, as a result, is a joint employer of the workers at the franchisees’ stores and is responsible for underpaid wages to these workers.  The Attorney General has also alleged that Domino’s encouraged franchisees to use payroll reports from the company’s computer system (called “PULSE”), even though Domino’s knew for years that PULSE under-calculated gross wages.  Domino’s typically made multiple updates to PULSE each year, but decided not to fix the flaws that caused underpayments to workers or tell franchisees about the flaws, deeming it a “low priority.”

Restaurant Owner Arrested for Failure To Pay Minimum Wage And Overtime Pay

attorney general logo

A New York owner has been arrested for failure to pay more than $35,000 in required minimum wage and overtime pay to five former employees, including cooks, cleaners, and cashiers. Elisa Parto, owner of restaurant Elisa’s Food & Plus, Inc. in Port Chester, NY, and Elisa’s Good & Plus, Inc. face multiple counts of Failure to Pay Wages under Labor Law Section 198-a(1), an unclassified misdemeanor. Elisa Parto faces a maximum jail term of one year, and both she and her company face maximum fines, in addition to restitution of $5,000 to her employees.

Ms. Parto opened her restaurant in 2010 and failed to pay the minimum wage and overtime pay to five employees who sometimes worked more than 70 hours a week between 2010 and 2014.

New York’s hourly minimum wage is $8.00 and New York and Federal Law require employers to pay time and a half when an employee works more than 40 hours a week. New York Labor Law also requires employers to pay wages no later than seven days after the end of the week when the wages were earned.

In a press release regarding the arrest, Schniederman stated that, “My office will take aggressive action, including criminal charges, where appropriate, against business owners who fail to properly compensate their employees for hours worked,” Attorney General Schneiderman said. “Protecting the livelihoods of hardworking New Yorkers is a priority for my office.”

 

Feds Bust Up Smuggling Ring That Supplied Below Minimum Wage Chinatown Restaurant Workers

Last week federal agents arrested 23 people on charges that they smuggled 70 people from China to work in Chinatown restaurants for below minimum wage.

chinatown

The restaurant owners allegedly targeted undocumented immigrants for work in the restaurants because the restaurant owners knew they could pay these workers below minimum wage.  According to a statement released by the Manhattan U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara, the defendants “allegedly trafficked in human beings, making money off of the backs of illegal immigrants and treating them like chattel.”  The arrests mark the United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s largest investigation of unauthorized workers in New York.