On April 27, 2017, Markovits, Stock & DeMarco, LLC filed a lawsuit on behalf of three delivery drivers who work for Papa John’s Pizza in Dayton, Ohio. The plaintiffs seek to represent all delivery drivers who have worked at PJ Ohio, LLC, PJ North Carolina, LLC, PJ Vegas, LLC, and other related entities over the last three years. Together, the defendants own and operate 73 Papa John’s restaurants in Dayton, Ohio, Cincinnati, Ohio, North Carolina, and Nevada.
In the Complaint, the plaintiff-delivery drivers allege that they were denied proper reimbursement for gasoline, auto maintenance, and other expenses. The plaintiffs allege that Papa John’s delivery drivers are reimbursed at a flat rate per delivery, but claim that reimbursement is insufficient to cover their out of pocket expenses. The plaintiff alleges that by requiring delivery drivers to cover expenses that are for the company’s benefit, Papa John’s failed to pay them minimum wage.
Delivery drivers are some of the most likely victims of wage theft. Pizza chains regularly violate federal and state wage laws by requiring their employees to pay out of pocket (for things like gasoline) just to work there. These out of pocket expenses are counted against the wages drivers’ receive from their employer. When drivers are paid at or close to minimum wage, their employer might be violating the minimum wage laws. While many pizza chains charge their customers between $2 and $3 as a “delivery fee,” usually only a small fraction of that amount goes to the delivery drivers.
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ADVERTISING ONLY: The information on this blog is not, nor is not intended to be, legal advice. You should consult an attorney for individual advice regarding your own situation.
Delivery Driver Pay Requirements Summary
- Drivers must be properly reimbursed for all expenses including: gasoline, car maintenance, insurance, and other expenses.
- A flat reimbursement fee—maybe $1.00 per delivery—is common. Typically this flat delivery fee does not cover the out of pocket costs listed above.
- When performing non-delivery tasks (cleaning, taking food orders, boxing pizza, etc.) the delivery driver must be paid non-tipped minimum wage.
- Drivers cannot be forced to pay for their uniforms out of pocket, because that also results in a minimum wage violation.