New York State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman made a strong statement on Monday when he announced he would include Domino’s Pizza Inc. as a defendant in a wage-theft case against three Domino’s franchisees operating a total of 10 stores in the state.

The civil lawsuit is the first such case Schneiderman has brought that invokes “joint employer” liability, a theory under which a company is liable for the actions of a partner or franchisee because they are viewed as closely connected. The doctrine has been gaining traction in employment-related suits thanks to recent actions on the federal level by the National Labor Relations Board and the U.S. Department of Labor.

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