New York State Attorney General (AG) Eric T. Schneiderman recently settled a wage-theft case in New York brought against Cornucopia Logistics, LLC (Cornucopia). The settlement will benefit current and former employees who did not receive adequate wages from the company. Cornucopia is a delivery company that has a contract with Amazon to provide package and food deliveries to residential and commercial customers in the New York City area.
Cornucopia has agreed to pay a $100,000 settlement which will go toward compensating over one hundred employees including drivers, drivers’ helpers and messengers who did not receive wages for all the hours they worked.
Under the federal, state and local laws, employees may take lunch breaks and employers do not have to pay them for that time. However, due to the time constraints and delivery responsibilities of their jobs, Cornucopia employees were often unable to take lunch breaks, working straight through them. The investigation by the AG’s office revealed that Cornucopia withheld wages for lunch breaks that employees never took. Individuals who worked through lunch, the AG said, are entitled to receive wages for that time.
The investigation also led to the discovery discovered Cornucopia did not adequately compensate workers with “call-in” pay. When workers are asked to report to work but are ultimately asked to go home or not complete their shift, they must receive proper compensation, in this case, 4 hours of pay. Cornucopia also did not keep accurate payroll records which made it difficult to ascertain the full extent of the unpaid wage violations.
In addition to paying restitution in the amount of $100,000, the settlement, as discussed in Schneiderman’s press release, “requires Cornucopia to comply with the law going forward, and bars Cornucopia from retaliating against employees for cooperating with the investigation. Cornucopia will also designate an internal officer responsible for ensuring prospective labor law compliance, including furnishing the Attorney General’s Office with quarterly reports and payroll documents.”
This case illustrates just how easy it is for an employee to fall victim to an employer who overlooks the laws and withholds wages from its workers. Although Cornucopia did not admit to any wrongdoing in the settlement, it is paying in more ways than one for the payroll errors and misjudgments. The victims of wage theft recovered their earnings and perhaps prevented Cornucopia from violating the rights of other hard working employees.
Employers in New York and nationwide, unlawfully withhold wages in various ways including:
If your employer owes you unpaid wages, you may be entitled to file a claim and seek damages. Contact Leeds Brown Law, P.C., attorneys who aggressively advocate for clients seeking to recover the wages they work hard to earn. You can reach us 24/7 at 1-800-585-4658.