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New York’s Domino’s Lawsuit Could Lead to Unionizing Workers
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Summary: Dominos workers may have the chance to unionize after a landmark wage theft lawsuit.

New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman is cracking down on the fast food industry, and his latest lawsuit may allow Dominos workers to unionize across different owner-operated franchises.

  
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Last week, Schneiderman’s office filed a lawsuit against Domino’s and its franchise operators, alleging the pizza makers cheated workers out of tipped wages and overtime pay to the tune of half a million dollars. The Nation reported that wage theft is rampant in the restaurant business, but Dominos had a special computerized system that was rigged to encourage wage theft. This was determined after a multi-year investigation.

According to the investigation, Domino’s proprietary system called PULSE routinely underpaid workers by undercounting their hourly earnings, including tips and overtime pay. Dominos was aware of the glitch but instead of fixing it, deemed it “low priority” and allowed the wage theft to continue.

The lawsuit also alleges that Domino’s corporate office had a heavy hand in the operations of its franchises. Representatives often dropped by stores unannounced, and they disciplined or terminated employees, amongst other actions. In one instance, a representative even said to an employee at a franchise, “I’m your boss.” This type of behavior was used as evidence that Domino’s “micromanaged” franchises and thus had liability when it came to the actions of its franchisees.

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The lawsuit goes on to say that Domino’s business model suppressed unionization by giving “union avoidance” literature or sending corporate representatives to stores. The Nation reports that any changes brought by this lawsuit could give employees the chance to unionize in the future.

Domino’s defended its business practice, and it said it has worked with the attorney general’s office in order to be compliant. It also said,  “Franchisees are solely responsible for the hiring, firing, and payment of their own employees.”



Do you think Domino’s workers will unionize? Should fast food workers unionize in general? Let us know in the comments below.

Source: The Nation

Photo courtesy of The Huffington Post



 

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