Last week, state Attorney General Eric Schneiderman announced that his office has filed a lawsuit against Domino’s Pizza and three of its franchises that are located in New York for what he calls a pattern of shortchanging its workers’ pay.

Since 2011, the Attorney General’s office has secured more than $26 million for almost 20,000 workers who were the victims of “wage theft.” But in contrast to prior actions, this case is targeting the corporate franchiser as well as the individual franchisees. The Attorney General’s goal is to establish a precedent in which corporations that franchise businesses can be held responsible for the actions taken by the stores under their corporate umbrella.

Attorney General Schneiderman said:

“At some point, a company has to take responsibility for its actions and for its workers’ well-being. We’ve found rampant wage violations at Domino’s franchise stores. And, as our suit alleges, we’ve discovered that Domino’s headquarters was intensely involved in store operations, and even caused many of these violations. Under these circumstances, New York law – as well as basic human decency – holds Domino’s responsible for the alleged mistreatment of the workers who make and deliver the company’s pizza. Domino’s can, and must, fix this problem.”