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TROPICAL STORM ISAIAS MOVING NORTHWARD ALONG THE EASTERN SEABOARD This product covers Southeast New York, Northeast New Jersey, and Southern Connecticut **TROPICAL STORM ISAIAS MOVING NORTHWARD ALONG THE EASTERN SEABOARD** NEW INFORMATION --------------- * CHANGES TO WATCHES AND WARNINGS: - The Tropical Storm Watch has been upgraded to a Tropical Storm Warning for Northern Fairfield, Northern Middlesex, Northern New Haven, Northern New London, Northern Westchester, Orange, Putnam, Rockland, and Western Passaic * CURRENT WATCHES AND WARNINGS: - A Tropical Storm Warning is in effect for Bronx, Eastern Bergen, Eastern Essex, Eastern Passaic, Eastern Union, Hudson, Kings (Brooklyn), New York (Manhattan), Northeastern Suffolk, Northern Fairfield, Northern Middlesex, Northern Nassau, Northern New Haven, Northern New London, Northern Queens, Northern Westchester, Northwestern Suffolk, Orange, Putnam, Richmond (Staten Island), Rockland, Southeastern Suffolk, Southern Fairfield, Southern Middlesex, Southern Nassau, Southern New Haven, Southern New London, Southern Queens, Southern Westchester, Southwestern Suffolk, Western Bergen, Western Essex, Western Passaic, and Western Union * STORM INFORMATION: - About 770 miles south-southwest of New York City NY or about 850 miles southwest of Montauk Point NY - 30.7N 80.1W - Storm Intensity 70 mph - Movement North or 360 degrees at 13 mph SITUATION OVERVIEW ------------------ Tropical Storm Isaias, located off the north Florida coast, will continue to move to the north this morning, turning north-northeast this afternoon along the southeast coast. Isaias will continue moving northeast tonight over Eastern North Carolina. Isaias will slowly weaken as it accelerates northeast on Tuesday, likely moving over our area Tuesday afternoon and evening. There is still some timing and intensity uncertainty with this storm. However, confidence continues to increase with respect to the magnitude of local hazards and impacts. The main threats with this system involve heavy rainfall, strong winds, minor to moderate coastal flooding, along with high surf and dangerous rip currents. Locally heavy rain is expected with a widespread 2 to 4 inches, with localized amounts up to 6 inches possible. The heaviest rain is most likely to occur across New York City, Northeast New Jersey and the Lower Hudson Valley early Tuesday morning through Tuesday evening, and eastern sections Tuesday afternoon into Tuesday night. The strongest winds are likely to occur across Long Island, southern Westchester and southern Connecticut, and the New York City and New Jersey Metro areas. Dangerous marine conditions are likely across all of the coastal waters Tuesday and Tuesday night. High surf and dangerous rip currents are expected along the ocean beaches Monday through Wednesday. The effects from Tropical Storm Isaias are expected to diminish quickly from southwest to northeast across the area Tuesday night. POTENTIAL IMPACTS ----------------- * FLOODING RAIN: Prepare for life-threatening rainfall flooding having possible extensive impacts across northeast New Jersey, New York City, and the Lower Hudson Valley. Potential impacts include: - Major rainfall flooding may prompt many evacuations and rescues. - Rivers and streams may rapidly overflow their banks in multiple places. Small streams, creeks, canals, and ditches may become dangerous rivers. Flood control systems and barriers may become stressed. - In hilly terrain, destructive runoff may run quickly down valleys, and increase susceptibility to rockslides and mudslides. - Flood waters can enter many structures within multiple communities, some structures becoming uninhabitable or washed away. Many places where flood waters may cover escape routes. Streets and parking lots become rivers of moving water with underpasses submerged. Driving conditions become dangerous. Many road and bridge closures with some weakened or washed out. * WIND: Prepare for dangerous wind having possible significant impacts across Southeast New York, Northeast New Jersey, and Southern Connecticut. Potential impacts include: - Some damage to roofing and siding materials, along with damage to porches, awnings, carports, and sheds. A few buildings experiencing window, door, and garage door failures. Mobile homes damaged, especially if unanchored. Unsecured lightweight objects become dangerous projectiles. - Several large trees snapped or uprooted, but with greater numbers in places where trees are shallow rooted. Several fences and roadway signs blown over. - Some roads impassable from large debris, and more within urban or heavily wooded places. A few bridges, causeways, and access routes impassable. - Scattered power and communications outages, but more prevalent in areas with above ground lines. * SURGE: Prepare for locally hazardous surge having possible limited impacts across shoreline communities. Potential impacts in this area include: - Localized inundation with storm surge flooding mainly along immediate shorelines and in low lying spots, or in areas farther inland near where higher surge waters move ashore. - Sections of near shore roads and parking lots become overspread with surge water. Driving conditions dangerous in places where surge water covers the road. - Moderate beach erosion. Heavy surf also breaching dunes, mainly in usually vulnerable locations. Strong and frequent rip currents. - Minor to locally moderate damage to marinas, docks, boardwalks, and piers. A few small craft broken away from moorings. * TORNADOES: Prepare for a tornado event having possible limited impacts across Southeast New York, Northeast New Jersey, and Southern Connecticut. Potential impacts include: - The occurrence of isolated tornadoes can hinder the execution of emergency plans during tropical events. - A few places may experience tornado damage, along with power and communications disruptions. - Locations could realize roofs peeled off buildings, chimneys toppled, mobile homes pushed off foundations or overturned, large tree tops and branches snapped off, shallow rooted trees knocked over, moving vehicles blown off roads, and small boats pulled from moorings.

A.G. Schneiderman Announces Settlements With Five Domino’s Pizza Franchisees For Violating Workers’ Basic Rights In Stores Statewide

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 ...

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New York, NY - April 14, 2015 - 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.

“In the past two years, the owners of over fifty New York Domino’s franchise locations have admitted to violations of some of the most basic labor law protections – an appalling record of ongoing disregard for workers’ rights,” Attorney General Schneiderman said. “Franchisors like Domino’s need to step up to the plate and fix this problem. Franchisors routinely visit franchise stores to monitor operations – down to the number of pepperonis on each pizza – to protect their brand, and yet they turn a blind eye to illegal working conditions. My message for Domino’s CEO Patrick Doyle is this: To protect the Domino’s brand, protect the basic rights of the people who wear the Domino’s uniform, who make and deliver your pizzas.”

Today’s agreements followed investigations by the Attorney General’s Office into the franchisees, covering the time period from 2008 through 2014. All investigated franchisees admitted to the violations of law outlined in the settlement agreements. The admitted violations varied by location and time period, and included the following:

  • Some stores paid delivery workers below the tipped minimum wage applicable to delivery workers under New York law. 
  • Some stores failed to pay overtime to employees who worked over 40 hours in a week, and others under-paid overtime, because they did not combine all hours worked at multiple stores owned by the same franchisee, or because they used the wrong formula to calculate overtime for tipped workers, unlawfully reducing workers’ pay.
  • Delivery workers who used their own cars to make deliveries were not fully reimbursed for their job-related vehicle expenses. 
  • Delivery workers who used their own bicycles to make deliveries were typically not reimbursed for any expenses related to maintaining their bicycles, nor were they provided with protective gear as required by New York City law.
  • Some stores violated a state requirement that employers must pay an additional hour at minimum wage when employees’ daily shifts are longer than 10 hours. 
  • Some stores also violated a state requirement that employers must pay restaurant workers for at least three hours of work when those employees report to work for a longer shift but are ultimately sent home early because of slow business or other reasons.
  • Some stores took a "tip credit" without tracking tips, and assigned delivery workers to kitchen or other untipped work for more time than legally permitted. Employers may only take a “tip credit” and pay a lower minimum wage to tipped restaurant employees if those employees earn enough in tips and spend most of their time – at least 80 percent –performing tipped work.

A list of all of the Domino’s franchisees and the restaurant locations that have reached settlements with the Attorney General’s Office can be found here.

In addition to payment of $970,000 in restitution funds, the franchisees must also institute complaint procedures, provide written handbooks to employees, train supervisors on the labor law, post a statement of employees’ rights, and designate an officer to submit quarterly reports to the Attorney General's Office regarding ongoing compliance for three years.

The largest franchisee to reach an agreement today, Robert Cookston, is paying $675,000 to settle the charges against him. In 2013, his Washington Heights store was the subject of a separate investigation for retaliatory discharge, which was ultimately resolved when all 25 discharged employees were reinstated pursuant to an agreement with the Attorney General’s Office. In today’s agreement, in addition to paying restitution to these and other workers, Mr. Cookston agreed to pay for independent monitoring of all of his stores for three years.

Today’s five agreements follow settlements announced last year with six Domino’s pizza franchisees, who together owned 23 stores and agreed to pay a total of $448,000 in restitution, as well as an additional settlement last year with a franchisee, Abdil Karaborklu, who paid $40,000 to resolve a case involving his three stores. Some of the stores investigated by the Attorney General in today’s announcement and last year changed hands among franchisees during the period of the investigation.

In total, franchisees investigated by the Attorney General have admitted violations of basic labor law protections in a total of 57 distinct Domino’s store locations in New York. Collectively, the Attorney General’s agreements have required franchisees to pay nearly $1.5 million in restitution to underpaid employees in Domino’s stores.

There were approximately 130 total Domino’s franchisee store locations statewide in 2014, according to Domino’s disclosure documents. Nationally, over 90 percent of Domino’s locations are franchisee-owned.

The Attorney General continues to investigate additional Domino’s franchisees in New York.

In addition to investigations involving Domino’s restaurants, the Attorney General’s office has brought a number of additional cases in the fast food industry.

  • In February, a judge awarded a judgment of over $2 million in unpaid wages and penalties to the Attorney General against New Majority Holdings, LLC, a New York City-based Papa John’s franchisee, and its owner Ronald Johnson.
  • In January, the Attorney General obtained a judgment for nearly $800,000 against Emmanuel Onuaguluchi, the operator of Emstar Pizza Inc., another New York City-based Papa John’s franchisee.
  • In June 2014, the Attorney General obtained $10,000 in restitution for an employee unlawfully discharged after reporting a gas leak at a McDonald’s franchise located in Lyons, in upstate New York.
  • In March 2014, the Attorney General secured a settlement of almost $500,000 for mostly minimum-wage employees of a group of seven New York City-based McDonald’s franchises.

The cases were handled by Labor Bureau Section Chief Andrew Elmore and Assistant Attorneys General Claudia Henriquez, Kevin Lynch and Haeya Yim, assisted by Assistant Attorney General Justin Deabler of the Civil Rights Bureau.  Terri Gerstein is the Labor Bureau Chief and Alvin Bragg is the Executive Deputy Attorney General for Social Justice.

Photo by Eduardo P, via Wikimedia Commons under Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.