When New Yorkers order pizza in the city, they may not be aware that their delivery person is depending on a tip for their service. While the minimum wage in New York is $8.00 an hour, the minimum wage for those earning tips is only $5.00. The employer is supposed to pay the difference.
One Domino's pizza store has been ordered to dole out over $1 million to over 60 pizza delivery workers following a three-year litigation process. The delivery people are expected to receive compensation for thousands of dollars, depending on seniority. The workers had charged the pizza franchise of illegal wage practices, including charging them for uniforms, missed food breaks, and doing un-tipped work at the lower minimum wage allowance.
One pizza delivery man stated that after he disputed the wage arrangement, his supervisor let him go. He then took his case to the department of labor but two years went by with no help. After resorting to the legal aid society, the delivery people were finally represented by legal counsel, who won the settlement. One spokesperson for legal aid expressed hope that this case will motivate other delivery workers to dispute unfair wage laws.
Over twenty workers had stated they had been let go after complaining about unfair labor practices. Following their protests, the state attorney general required Domino's to give the workers their jobs back.
A spokesperson for Domino's issued a statement admitting some "mistakes" were made. Such labor disputes are not only illegal, they can be time-consuming and result in settlements that were never awarded. This had led some major cities in the country to strengthen their labor laws. In New York City, fast food workers and other lower-wage workers have begun to unionize and take to the streets to strike, demanding resolution of wage disputes.
It is not uncommon for people in any business who are paid less than minimum wage to be subjected to unfair pay practices. It is against the law to deny any worker the pay he or she deserves. It only takes one victim of unfair labor disputes to seek help from a knowledgeable entity that can represent an entire group of workers who are subjected to unfair practices by an employer. All workers are entitled to minimum wage protection under the law.
Source: thinkprogress.org, "New York City Domino’s Workers Win $1.3 Million In Settlement Over Low Wages" Bryce Covert, Feb. 03, 2014