Delivery drivers for Papa John’s have reached a significant settlement amount for owed wages. The collective of pizza drivers are presenting the $20 million deal to a federal judge in New York for approval ending claims that they were incorrectly reimbursed for out of pocket vehicle expenses accrued while completing job duties. Workers for Papa John’s International, Inc.(“PJI”) throughout at least seven states, including Colorado, Florida, Illinois, Kentucky, Maryland, Minnesota and Missouri,stand to benefit from this settlement. The lawsuit was originally filed six years ago under the federal Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”) and several state minimum wage statutes.
Delivery drivers initially claimed that PJI violated the FLSA and various other state minimum wage laws by insufficiently compensating them for normal wear and tear on their vehicleswhich ultimately drove their pay below the minimum wage.There are several laws that require employers to provide their workers with adequate reimbursements for work related ensuring that employees’ hourly wages equal or exceed the required minimum wage after these expenses are counted against the hourly wages. However, PJ failed to reimburse its delivery drivers for gas and other driving-related expenses such as vehicle depreciation, insurance, maintenance and repairs. Due to the fact that PJI maintains significant control over several of its Papa John’s restaurants and franchise locations, allowing them to hire and fire employees, set their wages and schedules, control the work they perform, and inspect and supervise their work, they should be held responsible for the significant underpayment of wages.
If you work as a delivery driver in the food industry, ensure you are getting reimbursed properly for all of your expenses. If reimbursement isn’t being handled correctly by your employer, these out of pocket costs could often bring your pay below the correct minimum wage required by the FLSA. Call our employment law firm, Fitapelli & Schaffer, LLP, for a free and confidential consultation to confirm you’re getting paid correctly by your employer. You can also visit our website here for additional helpful information regarding your work rights.