Delivery workers at a New York Domino's won a big victory this week when the franchisee they worked for agreed to settle a wage and hour lawsuit for $1.28 million.
According to the New York Times, Domino's franchisee DPNY was sued by 61 delivery workers who said managers at the Domino's violated overtime and minimum wage laws. In many instances, the workers said their hours were misreported and they were only paid for some of the hours they worked. One worker said he worked from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. one day, but the company only paid him for five hours.
“One manager told me you will work more than 50 hours a week but we’ll pay you for 40,” Anatole Yameogo said. “That helps the managers increase their bonus.”
The suit accused DPNY, which owns four Domino's pizza restaurants in Manhattan, of not giving employees the legally required lunch break, not paying for their uniforms, and paying the below minimum wage allowed for tipped workers even when workers were doing untipped work like cleaning ovens and floors and distributing Domino's fliers.
“The boss would always tell people, ‘If you don’t like it here, the door is open to go elsewhere,’” said Carlos Rodriguez Herrera, who was fired in 2007 after complaining to a manager that he had been underpaid.
“I knew they were stealing my hours, but I had no choice but to stay because I had a family to support,” said Yameogo, who worked for DPNY from 2005 to 2009.
The delivery employees will be awarded between $400 and $61,300, with amounts depending on how long they worked for DPNY.
"It’s a great victory for them,” said Karen Cacace, a lawyer for the Legal Aid Society. “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.”