Attorney General’s office recovers millions for low-wage workers
ALBANY — State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman's office recovered nearly $5.7 million in owed pay and damages for more than 3,300 low-wage workers since last Labor Day, the Daily News has learned.
The recoveries are included in a third annual Labor Day report Schneiderman's office is set to release Monday.
The recovered wages by Schneiderman's Labor Bureau went to fast-food employees, home health aides, taxi drivers, restaurant employees and construction workers.
"As Attorney General, I remain steadfastly committed to ensuring that workers are paid for the work they do, that their pay lifts them out of poverty, and that undue obstacles aren't placed in their path to job security and economic advancement," Schneiderman said.
Since the start of 2012, Schneiderman's office says it has recovered nearly $27 million for more than 20,000 workers victimized by wage theft, and levied $2.5 million in penalties against employers.
Since Labor Day 2015, Schneiderman cited $1.5 million recovered on behalf of 1,200 workers at 61 Domino's Pizza stores across New York. His lawsuit held the Domino's corporation responsible for wage theft that he said was endemic to its franchises nationwide.
The office, working with the federal Department of Labor, in October secured nearly $500,000 in back pay and damages for some 250 workers who were cheated out of minimum wage and overtime pay at nine Papa John's Pizza franchises in Queens, the Bronx and Brooklyn.
And last month, there was another $500,000 settlement with three Papa John's franchise stores in Manhattan and the Bronx for similar reasons.
Other cases involved a criminal prosecution against Papa John's franchise owner who created fake records and a home health care agency owner who repeatedly failed to pay his employees.
Schneiderman also took credit for ending non-compete agreements that had been required at various companies, including Jimmy John's and Law360.
And he pointed to agreements with the corporate owners of the Gap, Victoria's Secret, Bath & Body Works and J. Crew, to end the practice that required workers to call in a few hours in advance to find out if they were needed.
Known as on-call scheduling, Schneiderman said such practices wreak havoc with child care and make it difficult to take other jobs and educational opportunities.
"I celebrate the progress we made over the past year, and will continue fighting for the working men and women who contribute so much to our great state," Schneiderman said.