The wage fraud scandal at Domino’s Pizza franchises turned into an even more serious charge of Visa fraud when workers are threatened with having their Visa sponsorship terminated if they report their employers to authorities for underpayment of wages. Domino’s franchisees are accused of demanding payment as “sponsors” of their employee’s immigration Visas. Sponsorship required to be in a country legally is being sold to employees in return for cheap labor. Workers are claiming that they know of immigrants that are working 60 hours per week and only being paid for 40. Managers who are under sponsorship feel they are obligated to comply with their sponsor’s demands for workers to work unpaid overtime.
Pizza price wars with other fast pizza delivery franchises is said to be the blame for squeezing Dominos franchisee and forcing them to cut costs to remain competitive. By mandating a reduction in the cost of their products, the franchise is selling more pizzas than ever and the Domino’s company makes more money. The skyrocketing profits on the home office level seem to be coming at the expense of the franchisee that is forced to underpay its employees, including delivery drivers, in order to make the franchise model viable.
What is most alarming about this story, is that Dominos home office doesn’t seem to think there is a serious problem. Profits are going through the roof. The company continues to deny that wage fraud is systemic in their company. The company states that while they in no way condone the underpaying of employees, they stand firm on the grounds that their business model is solid.