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23 NYS Pizza Huts hit for underpaying workers

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Franchise owners of 23 Pizza Hut restaurants in eight areas of the state have agreed to pay $448,000 to minimum-wage workers who were underpaid, according to a settlement announced today by the New York State Attorney General.

The six franchisees operate 23 pizzerias, including some in New York City and Schenectady, Dutchess, Erie, Nassau, Rockland, Suffolk and Westchester counties.

They signed settlements listing various wage violations. The settlement money will be distributed among approximately 750 employees. Most are expected to get back between $200 and $2,000. Investigators reported numerous violations of labor laws by the franchise owners from 2007 to 2013.

"The violations in these cases demonstrate a statewide pattern of Domino's franchisees flouting the law and illegally chiseling at the pay of minimum-wage workers, who struggle to survive," Attorney General Eric Schneiderman said today. "My office will be relentless in pursuing fast-food employers who underpay the hardworking people who are the backbone of their operations."

Hugh Baran of Fast Food Forward, an organization advocating for fast-food workers, today told me, “We applaud Attorney General Schneiderman for going after, and reaching settlements with, the owners of 23 Domino's franchises for wage theft. In two weeks, 1,450 hardworking New Yorkers have recovered nearly $1 million in stolen wages — a huge victory in our fight to stamp out wage theft in the fast food industry.

"But, as we made clear last week when we protested wage theft alongside Public Advocate Tish James, fast-food corporations like Domino’s and McDonald’s cannot hide from their responsibility for these unlawful practices. They’re the ones in control of the daily operations of their franchisees, and that’s why over 80% of NYC fast food workers report they’ve been victims of wage theft. That’s why we’re not stopping: we will continue holding these corporations accountable.”

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