Domino’s Pizza Latest Franchise To Settle Wage Claims

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April 15, 2015– Five owners of a total of 29 Domino’s Pizza stores across New York State have agreed to pay a combined $970,000 in restitution to workers to settle labor violation complaints, Attorney General  Scheiderman’s office reported Tuesday.

The violations, in general, involved minimum wage and tip rules and allegations that the subject stores failed to properly reimburse delivery workers who used their own cars or bicycles for deliveries, according to the state’s official news release

The settlements follow similar cases last year involving another 26 stores statewide.

From the Official Press Release:  NEW YORK – Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman today announced settlements totaling $970,000 with four current Domino’s Pizza franchisees, who together own 29 stores across New York State, as well as with one former franchisee who owned 6 stores. With stores located in Cortland, Dutchess, Erie, Genesee, Monroe, Nassau, New York, Onondaga, Ontario, Orange, Rockland, Suffolk, and Westchester counties, the franchisees admitted to a number of labor violations, including minimum wage, overtime or other basic labor law protections. In light of today’s agreements – which follow similar settlements last year with the owners of 26 other Domino’s stores statewide – Attorney General Schneiderman also called on the Domino’s Pizza corporation and Chief Executive Officer Patrick Doyle to exercise increased oversight of Domino’s franchisees’ pay practices.

For the entire transcript visit: http://www.ag.ny.gov/press-release/ag-schneiderman-announces-settlements-five-domino’s-pizza-franchisees-violating

Pregnant Workers Win Supreme Court Victory

Young Woman Pregnant Sitting On Arm Chairs In Home Living Room W Stock Photo Photo by khunaspix.  Image ID: 100253535
Young Woman Pregnant Sitting On Arm Chairs In Home Living Room
Photo by khunaspix.
Image ID: 100253535

March 26, 2015– WASHINGTON — In a victory for pregnant women in the workplace, the Supreme Court ruled Wednesday in favor of a worker who sued shipping giant UPS for pregnancy discrimination, sending her lawsuit back to a lower court where she had previously lost.

The case, Young v. United Parcel Service, hinged on whether or not UPS was justified in putting Peggy Young on unpaid leave after she became pregnant, even though other workers were commonly offered “light duty” for on-the-job injuries or to satisfy requirements under the American with Disabilities Act. The justices ruled 6-3 in favor of keeping Young’s lawsuit alive, with Chief Justice John Roberts and Justice Samuel Alito joining the traditionally liberal members of the court….

(Reposted from The Huffington Post 3/25/2015)

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/03/25/supreme-court-ups-pregancy_n_6940752.html?1427304988

FedEx Ground Drivers-Employees or Independent Contractors

November 13, 2014–  “Five days a week for 10 years, Agostino Scalercio left his house before 6 a.m., drove to a depot to pick up a truck, and worked a 10-hour shift delivering packages in San Diego. He first worked for Roadway Package System, a national delivery company whose founders included former United Parcel Service (UPS) managers, and continued driving trucks when FedEx (FDX) bought RPS in 1998. FedEx Ground assigned Scalercio a service area. The company, he says, had strict standards about delivery times, the drivers’ grooming, truck maintenance, and deadlines for handing in paperwork, and deducted money from his pay to cover the cost of his uniform, truck washings, and the scanner used to log shipments……”

(For the rest of Josh Eldelson’s article from BusinessWeek.com click the link below.)

 

http://www.businessweek.com/articles/2014-10-16/fedex-ground-says-its-drivers-arent-employees-dot-the-courts-will-decide

Amazon Workers Fight For Fair Pay?

October 16, 2014-Most of the American public is familiar with the internet marketplace known as Amazon.com.  What most people didn’t know until last week was that Amazon.com employees are required to pass through mandatory security checkpoints, after their shifts.  This mandatory protocol often delays their departure from work, by an average of,  30 minutes per day.  This procedure was put into place due to significant company financial losses, which Amazon alleges, is the result of, out of control, employee theft.  Employees, as a matter of practice, clock out from work, daily, and then line up to pass through secure check points similar to those utilized at the major airports throughout the country.

Now those same employees have filed a series of lawsuits against Amazon, claiming that the time spent administering these security procedures should be considered part of their employment. Furthermore, they are demanding they be paid up until the point that they have completed their security inspections.  They have alleged that Amazon has violated Labor Laws by requiring them to adhere to these practices, without the benefit of pay.  They are seeking back pay, as well as a change in policy.  Amazon has fired back, vigorously defending the suit on several legal grounds, but more significantly, highlighting the irony that employee behavior, as a class, necessitated the costly procedures be implemented in the first place.

At the heart of the matter will be a legal interpretation of the 1947 amendment to the Fair Labor Standards Act.  The U.S. Supreme Court will look at the facts, in question, and decide whether the security checkpoints set up by Amazon, and other major companies dealing with employee theft, constitute “integral and indispensable” components of what the workers were paid, by the employer, to do.  The classic example cited by the employees is that employers, such as butchers, are required, by law, to pay for the time their employees spend sharpening their tools, as integral to their job.   They liken the checkpoint requirement to this scenario.  In contrast, employers are not legally required to pay employees for their travel time to and from work.  Amazon relies on this premise in defense of its position that the security checkpoint is akin to the ride home.

Whose interpretation is correct?  The parties, and the public, will soon discover.  While this case involves one company, Amazon.com, the results may significant consequences on the finances of many U.S. companies.  The additional expense of increased base wages, plus the, potential, impact on overtime wages could lead to increased consumer prices, or a decrease in hiring, or, although, highly unlikely, a dismantling of the security checkpoints, entirely, as more cost prohibitive than the theft they are trying to eliminate.

If you, or someone you know, is the victim of wage violations or is owed back pay, please contact the New York Employment Attorneys at Neil H. Greenberg & Associates.  Our attorneys will help you to fight labor violations and get compensation for your work.  Call us today at 516-228-5100!

 

Neil H. Greenberg, Esq. Featured in the News

October 9, 2014– Neil H. Greenberg, Esq., was featured in a series of News Stories regarding the firm’s representation of certain Defendants in a high profile, Federal, Employment matter being litigated in New York State.  The below intro and link is from the Southampton Press coverage of the ongoing matter:

 

Water Mill Couple To Go To Trial After Judge Refuses To Dismiss Forced Labor Allegations

Publication: The Southampton Press

By Erin McKinley Oct 3, 2014 4:27 PM 

Oct 8, 2014 10:10 AM

A federal judge has refused to dismiss a case against a Water Mill couple in which a former employee claims the pair forced her into indentured servitude between 2005 and 2008.

The suit, which will now be the subject of a trial, was filed by Ni Ketut Sulastri of Bali, who now resides in North Sea, in July 2012. She alleges that she had been hired, through an intermediary in Bali, by Lawrence and Rose Halsey to work for the Halseys’ children’s shoe-making business, Coastal Projection Corporation. She said she was promised a stipend of $450 per month, a 9-to-5 workday, room and board, and help with obtaining lawful permanent resident status…..

http://www.27east.com/news/article.cfm/Water-Mill/82334/Water-Mill-Couple-To-Go-To-Trial-After-Judge-Refuses-To-Dismiss-Forced-Labor-Allegations

Volunteer Firefighters Score A Legal Victory in NYS

September 24, 2014– NYS Volunteer Firefighters and Ambulance personnel scored a moral and legal victory this week when the New York State Legislature amended New York State Labor Laws in favor of granting these emergency service workers the right to be absent, with some limitations,  from work during declared “States of Emergency”.  While the legislation does not go as far as to make these absences paid leave time, it does prohibit employers from firing these employees in retaliation for the time off.

Historically, volunteer firefighters and other emergency workers, who risked their health, safety, and lives during crisis periods, often faced recrimination from employers that failed to acknowledge the value that their service provided for the improvement of the community.   This recrimination was deemed to have a “chilling” effect on recruitment of qualified candidates, who feared retaliatory treatment from vindictive employers, yet it was, entirely, legal.

Volunteer Firefighters and emergency personnel have played vital roles in responding to significant crisis events, including 9/11 and Hurricane Sandy, in recent years.  The passing of the legislation was heralded by the Firemen’s Association of the State of New York, the largest association of volunteer firefighter’s in the state.

The new law is set to go into effect on December 22, 2014.

Read more: http://www.uticaod.com/article/20140924/News/140929664#ixzz3EM185O00

For the complete story, please see Michael Virtanen’s Associated Press story, which was circulated on September 24, 2014: http://www.uticaod.com/article/20140924/NEWS/140929664

 

Why We Celebrate Labor Day

August 28, 2014-  On September 1, 2014 people all around the United States will observe Labor Day in the companionship of family and friends.   The day will be marked by family gatherings, parades, beach trips, and the 2nd largest retail shopping day of the year (Black Friday is the first).  While most Americans associate the holiday with the last chance to frolic in the Summer Sun, as the season draws to a close, and others view it as the final celebration before the “back to school” mayhem commences, it is important to remember what the holiday stands for, and to, briefly, recall its history.

Labor Day is a celebration of the American worker. In the words of the United States Department of Labor, the holiday “is dedicated to the social and economic achievements of American workers.”  This, truly, is the one day a year dedicated to the men and women who labor all year long to solidify the economic viability, prosperity, and vitality of the nation.  While the face of the labor force has changed dramatically since its adoption, it is the one day when citizens are encouraged to devote, at the very least, a moment to the rich, proud history of the American worker.

The idea of a Labor holiday started to take hold in the 1880’s, with individual states, including New York State, adopting legislation to recognize American Workers.   It took, approximately, ten years before the concept took hold as a national concept, and the holiday became adopted as a National Day of Observance in 1894.  Upon adoption it was determined that the holiday would be observed on the first Monday of each September, in order to provide an extended weekend in a time when Sunday was a day devoted to families in the United States.

Over the, more than, 100 years since the adoption of Labor Day as a holiday the relative unity and bargaining powers of American workers, as well as their economic conditions, have varied considerably.   What has not changed is the importance of the American worker in maintaining the United States as a vital presence in the global economy.  While football, retail sales, NASCAR, and “back to school “may be on the minds of Americans over the Labor Day weekend take some time to be thankful for the workers.

NYC Paid Sick Leave Law Takes Effect

July 30, 2014– In April of this year New York City’s Mayor signed the “Paid Sick Leave Act” into law.  This law impacts all existing, and new NYC workers, employed after May 1, 2014.  Below are some of the highlights of the law:

What is the Purpose of the Act?

The act provides Sick Leave for all employees in New York City, employed on or after May 1, 2014.

Who is Covered?

  • The act covers all companies in New York City,  employing 5 people, or more.
  • Both Full and Part time employees are eligible, so long as they work a total of 80 hours in one calendar year.
  • In the case of domestic workers there is no “5 employee” requirement to obtain coverage.

What is required of Employers Under the Act?

  • Employers with 5 employees, or more, must provide PAID sick leave to covered employees.
  • Employers with less than 5 employees must allow employees to access the same sick leave time as their larger counterparts; however, these small employers are not required to pay employees for the sick time.

Continue reading “NYC Paid Sick Leave Law Takes Effect”