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Domino's Delivery Workers Win $1.28 Million Wage Settlement

Domino's Delivery Workers Win $1.28 Million Wage Settlement

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Delivery workers at a New York Domino's won a big victory this week when the franchisee they worked for agreed to settle a wage and hour lawsuit for $1.28 million.

According to the New York Times, Domino's franchisee DPNY was sued by 61 delivery workers who said managers at the Domino's violated overtime and minimum wage laws. In many instances, the workers said their hours were misreported and they were only paid for some of the hours they worked. One worker said he worked from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. one day, but the company only paid him for five hours.

“One manager told me you will work more than 50 hours a week but we’ll pay you for 40,” Anatole Yameogo said. “That helps the managers increase their bonus.”

The suit accused DPNY, which owns four Domino's pizza restaurants in Manhattan, of not giving employees the legally required lunch break, not paying for their uniforms, and paying the below minimum wage allowed for tipped workers even when workers were doing untipped work like cleaning ovens and floors and distributing Domino's fliers.

“The boss would always tell people, ‘If you don’t like it here, the door is open to go elsewhere,’” said Carlos Rodriguez Herrera, who was fired in 2007 after complaining to a manager that he had been underpaid.

“I knew they were stealing my hours, but I had no choice but to stay because I had a family to support,” said Yameogo, who worked for DPNY from 2005 to 2009.

The delivery employees will be awarded between $400 and $61,300, with amounts depending on how long they worked for DPNY.

"It’s a great victory for them,” said Karen Cacace, a lawyer for the Legal Aid Society. “Hopefully it will inspire other delivery workers and low-wage workers to take action if they’re not being paid correctly, and hopefully it will make employers recognize that there can be a significant cost to violating wage laws.”

Cincinnati pizza delivery drivers to split $1 million settlement

Your week is probably not starting as auspiciously as it is for a group of Domino’s delivery drivers in Cincinnati, who plan to share a $1 million settlement in a wage-theft lawsuit. Each of the 163 drivers in the suit stands to receive about $6,000.

WCPO reports drivers accepted the settlement in December, and a district judge is expected to approve it this week. The drivers collectively sued a Domino’s franchise called Southern Ohio Pizza for unpaid wages and mileage their lawyers from the firm Markovits, Stock & DeMarco have reportedly filed almost 20 such suits on behalf of delivery drivers across the country.

“If approved, the drivers will receive an average of over $6,000 per person, which we hope is difference-making money for them,” the drivers’ lawyer Andrew Kimble told WCPO.

At issue in this case was whether the Domino’s properly reimbursed drivers for vehicle maintenance and mileage, and whether the drivers were paid less than minimum wage when performing non-delivery duties. Paul Mullins, the lead plaintiff in the case, alleged he and other drivers were not properly reimbursed for vehicle maintenance and insurance, and that they were paid a tipped hourly wage that was less than minimum wage when they performed non-tipped tasks like preparing food or folding pizza boxes. In October, more than 400 Domino’s drivers won an $850,000 settlement in a lawsuit in Dayton, Ohio’s federal court. Those drivers claimed they were reimbursed less than they should have been for mileage driven as part of their jobs. A similar lawsuit against a Domino’s franchise is pending in Colorado.

According to Pizza Today , “the leading magazine for pizza professionals,” pizza drivers may be paid either an hourly rate or a tipped-credit rate depending on state and local laws. Essentially, if a driver’s tips don’t meet the required minimum wage, the employer must make up the difference. Employers must also cover drivers’ fuel costs, repairs, and maintenance. The standard federal reimbursement rate for this is 55 cents per mile, which covers fuel, repairs, vehicle depreciation, and insurance.

Domino's Drivers Strike $3M FLSA Settlement With Franchisee

Law360 (March 3, 2021, 6:47 PM EST) -- A Domino's Pizza Inc. franchise owner will pay $3 million to more than 3,000 delivery drivers who claimed the owner shorted them on minimum wage by failing to reimburse expenses, after a North Carolina federal judge approved the settlement Wednesday.

In an order, U.S. District Judge Louise Wood Flanagan granted the settlement motion in the drivers' collective action against Team Carolinas Inc., saying the terms were a fair and adequate resolution of the Fair Labor Standards Act claims and prevented a risky trial.

"Wage and hour class and collective actions, such as this, are inherently complex and time-consuming," Judge Flanagan said.

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Domino's Pizza Unpaid Wage and Hour Class Action Lawsuit Reaches $1.28M Settlement

In the lawsuit Herrera alleged he frequently worked 65 hours a week but was only paid for 45. A co-worker, Anatole Yameogo, remembers working from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. one Saturday, but his pay stub showed he worked five hours that same day. "One manager told me you will work more than 50 hours a week but we'll pay you for 40,"Mr. Yameogo said. "That helps the managers increase their bonus."

In their lawsuit, the two bicycle deliverymen alleged the Domino franchisee who employed them was in violation of minimum New York wage and overtime laws, among other things. Over the course of time, dozens of their co-workers who worked delivering pizza, joined the lawsuit.

According to the reported terms of the settlement, the awards will range from $61,300 to $400 per delivery person, depending on how long each worked for Domino' Pizza New York (DPNY), which owns four Domino' in Manhattan.

The litigation took three years, and accused DPNY of numerous wage and hour violations, including not giving a legally required lunch break, not paying for their uniforms, and paying a subminimum tip wage even when the workers did untipped work, like cleaning ovens and floors or distributing Domino' fliers.

The lawsuit alleged that instead of paying a $5.65 tip wage for delivery workers, DPNY should have paid the full state minimum wage because the company failed to keep proper records of their tipped hours and failed to properly explain tip wages.

Mr. Rodriguez, originally from Mexico, said that in 2007 he complained to his manager that he had been improperly underpaid only to be fired on the spot. He then decided to take legal action. "The boss would always tell people, 'If you don't like it here, the door is open to go elsewhere,'"he said.

Notably, Magistrate Judge James C. Francis IV of Federal District Court granted the plaintiffs' request to include the national Domino' Pizza company as a defendant, after the delivery workers asserted that it was a joint employer that knew or should have known about the franchisee' alleged wage violations.

Domino's Franchisees Settle Wage Theft Investigation In New York For $448,000

The owners of 23 Domino's Pizza locations in New York agreed Thursday to pay workers nearly half a million dollars to settle a wage-theft investigation by the office of state Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman.

Schneiderman's office says it uncovered a raft of labor law violations that occurred between 2007 and 2013 at the stores, which are owned by six franchisees. Those include delivery workers being paid below the $5.65 tipped minimum wage they were entitled to, workers not being paid for overtime worked beyond 40 hours, and delivery drivers not being fully reimbursed for their auto expenses.

The $448,000 restitution fund will be divvied up among 750 current and former Domino's workers, most of whom will get between $200 and $2,000. The settlement comes on the heels of a similar deal reached by Schneiderman's office last week, when it settled an investigation bringing nearly $500,000 to McDonald's workers in New York City who said they'd been shorted on pay.

"The violations in these cases demonstrate a statewide pattern of Domino's franchisees flouting the law and illegally chiseling at the pay of minimum-wage workers, who struggle to survive," Schneiderman said in a statement. "My office will be relentless in pursuing fast-food employers who underpay the hardworking people who are the backbone of their operations."

The franchisees have admitted to the violations, according to Schneiderman's office. The attorney general listed all of the franchisees and their restaurants, which span eight New York counties, on the state website.

None of the restaurants in the settlement were operated by Domino's. A Domino's spokesman said the company wasn't aware of the lawsuit and wouldn't comment on it.

Wage theft allegations are common in the fast-food industry, where most workers don't earn much more than the minimum wage. The sector's pay practices have become part of a broader national discussion on income inequality, thanks in large part to the strikes and protests staged by fast-food workers throughout the country over the past year.

Fast Food Forward, the union-backed group that helped organized those strikes, issued a statement calling the Domino's franchise settlement a "huge victory." Naquasia LeGrand, a Brooklyn KFC employee and member of the group, also criticized companies like McDonald's and Domino's for distancing themselves from their franchisees' actions.

"[F]ast food corporations like Domino’s and McDonald’s cannot hide from their responsibility for these unlawful practices," LeGrand said in the statement. "They’re the ones in control of the daily operations of their franchisees."

As part of the settlement, the Domino's franchisees will be required to establish a grievance procedure for workers, train managers on labor law and submit reports to Schneiderman's office showing their compliance. Two franchisees who'd committed "the most egregious violations" will also have to submit to independent monitors who will make surprise visits to their stores.

Wednesday's settlement wasn't the first time Schneiderman's office reached a deal with a Domino's franchisee involving allegations of labor law violations. In December, a store owner agreed to rehire 25 employees who'd been fired after they said they were being paid below the minimum wage.

This post has been updated with a statement from Fast Food Forward.


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Domino's Delivery Workers Win $1.28 Million Fair Wage Settlement

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Cincinnati pizza delivery drivers to share $1 million settlement in wage lawsuit

CINCINNATI — Some local Domino’s Pizza delivery drivers will share a $1 million settlement from a class-action lawsuit for unpaid wages and mileage.

Attorneys for 163 Cincinnati pizza delivery drivers employed by a 19-store Domino’s franchise filed a motion for final approval of the $1,070,000 settlement on Dec. 27.

U.S. District Judge Susan Dlott held a final court hearing on Jan. 10 and is expected to approve the unopposed settlement and dismiss the case this week, attorneys said.

“We believe the settlement is an excellent result for our pizza delivery driver class members,” said Andrew Kimble. “If approved, the drivers will receive an average of over $6,000 per person, which we hope is difference-making money for them.”

Domino's did not return a request for comment.

Kimble and his partner Andy Biller of Cincinnati firm Markovits, Stock & DeMarco have filed nearly 20 wage lawsuits on behalf of pizza delivery drivers across the nation.

In October a Dayton federal judge approved a $850,000 settlement that was shared by 411 Domino’s Pizza delivery drivers in that area. Each driver received roughly $2,068.

Paul Mullins, a delivery driver for a Domino’s franchise in Cincinnati, Southern Ohio Pizza, filed his lawsuit in June 2017.

He claimed that pizza franchise owners paid delivery drivers at or below minimum wage and, at the same time, required them to pay for their own delivery expenses like vehicle maintenance, insurance, vehicle wear and tear.

Mullins and other pizza delivery drivers were reimbursed $.28 per mile, instead of the IRS mileage baseline of approximately $.56 per mile, according to the lawsuit.

When there were no deliveries, Mullins was still paid a lower tipped wage for tasks such as building pizza boxes, cleaning, preparing food and taking orders.

Under the settlement agreement, pizza delivery drivers who joined the lawsuit class will receive $.51 per mile and $6 per hour for work they did inside the store. That is expected to total roughly $6,000 per worker.

“We hope Paul's actions in standing up for his co-workers will encourage others to come forward and help put an end to the pizza industry's systematic minimum wage violations,” Kimble said.

Named in the lawsuit are: Southern Ohio Pizza, which operates 19 stores as a Domino’s franchise from Loveland to Mason franchise owners Louis and Karen Metro Domino’s Pizza Inc. Domino’s Pizza LLC and Domino’s Pizza Franchising.

If Dlott approves the final settlement, the defendants would also pay $348,689 in Mullins’ attorney fees, $6,310 in legal expenses and $10,000 as an incentive award to Mullins.

Domino's Pizza Owners Admit to Widespread Wage Theft

The owners of 23 Domino's Pizza outlets in New York admitted to rampant theft of workers' wages and agreed Thursday to a nearly half a million dollar settlement with hundreds of employees for numerous labor violations.

"Fast food corporations like Domino’s and McDonald’s cannot hide from their responsibility for these unlawful practices," said Naquasia LeGrand, a Brooklyn KFC employee and member Fast Forward. "They’re the ones in control of the daily operations of their franchisees."

The settlement was the result of an investigation by State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman into allegations of wage theft. According to a press release from Schneiderman's office, between and 2013, the owners admitted to numerous violations, including: paying below minimum wage, refusing or underpaying overtime pay, and refusing to adequately compensate delivery drivers for their car expenses.

Multiple, nation-wide waves of fast food worker strikes and protests have forced into the national discourse problems of pay theft, "starvation wages," and poor working conditions that are rampant in the fast food industry.

According to a poll conducted last year by Anzalone Liszt Grove, 84 percent of current or recent New York City fast food workers say they have suffered some form of wage theft. According to the survey, African-American "report wage and hour violations at a higher rate."

In addition to the financial component, Thursday's agreement settlement also requires that franchisees put in place "complaint procedures, provide bilingual written handbooks to employees, train supervisors on the labor law, post a statement of employees’ rights, and designate an officer to submit quarterly reports to the Attorney General's Office regarding ongoing compliance for two to three years," according to Schneiderman's office. The "most egregious" workers' rights offenders will be required to hire independent auditors.

The agreement follows a similar settlement last month with a Domino's Franchisee in New York agreed to a $1.28 million dollar settlement for withholding pay, stealing tips, and denying lunch breaks. Last week, seven McDonald’s franchises in New York City reached a $500,000 settlement on similar charges of wage theft. Meanwhile, several lawsuits across three states that could involve up to 30,000 workers are taking on McDonald's franchises and owners for wage theft.

"They’re the ones in control of the daily operations of their franchisees, and that’s why over 80% of NYC fast food workers report they’ve been victims of wage theft," said LeGrand. "That’s why we’re not stopping: we will continue holding these corporations accountable.”

400+ pizza delivery drivers win $850K settlement

Pizza delivery drivers for Domino’s Pizza won $850,000 in an unopposed settlement to a wage lawsuit this week in Dayton’s federal court.

Domino’s and other defendants in the suit are obliged to pay $850,000 to legal class members who submit a claim form and release, according to the motion for final settlement approval OK’ed this week by U.S. District Judge Walter Rice.

According to Rice’s court order, the money is allocated to class members so that they will receive reimbursement of up to 30 cents per mile that they drove working for Domino’s. The settlement is meant to be based on reimbursing class members for the difference between a 45-cent “compromise reimbursement rate” and the average 30 cents members were actually paid, plus an equal amount to account for damages, the order says.

About 411 drivers have submitted claims, the court said. The order says class members will receive an average of about $2,068 each, although individual awards will vary based on miles driven.

In addition, defendants have agreed not to oppose a fee award of up to $250,000 plus expenses, the filing said.

According to Rice’s filing, the corporate Domino’s defendants — Domino’s Pizza Inc., Domino’s Pizza LLC and Domino’s Pizza Franchising LLC — alleged that they did not employ the plaintiffs, arguing instead that franchise defendants did.

The suit was filed against the corporate defendants named above, as well as TJK-ELS Inc., TJK-ELS West End Inc. and others.

A spokesman for Domino's Pizza Inc. said his company was named a defendant along with the franchise entities.
"The franchise entity elected to settle the matter and as part of the settlement is getting all claims dismissed (including those against us)," the spokesman said. "We are being dismissed at the same time as the franchisee."

“We think this settlement is a good result for our delivery driver class members,” plaintiffs’ attorney Andrew Kimble said in an email. “We hope that our clients’ actions in this case give other pizza delivery drivers the courage to come forward and speak up about the pizza industry's policies that under-reimburse drivers for their car expenses.

Kimble added: “We were impressed by the franchise owners' professionalism in how they handled this case.”

$900K settlement reached in class-action lawsuit involving LaRosa's delivery drivers

Nearly a dozen LaRosa’s franchises have agreed to settle a class-action lawsuit that said delivery drivers were not being paid enough and were not fully reimbursed for their expenses.

The case involves an estimated 500 current or former delivery drivers for 11 LaRosa’s franchises in places including Mason, Loveland, West Chester as well as Northern Kentucky.

A federal judge in Cincinnati has granted preliminary approval of a $900,000 settlement reached between attorneys for the drivers and entities that own the franchises, court documents show. U.S. District Judge Matthew McFarland scheduled a hearing for June 21 to finalize the settlement.

"I think it’s a great result for a number of drivers in Southwest Ohio and Northern Kentucky," said Phil Krzeski, an attorney representing the drivers. "We hope this money makes a big difference for a lot of people."

A LaRosa's spokesman, Pete Buscani, said the case involved a franchise owner, and he didn't know the details. Buscani said "many times cases will settle for many reasons, including the costs and hassle of litigation."

The lawsuit said the franchises didn't pay delivery drivers enough for the expenses they incurred using their own vehicles.

Instead of reimbursing drivers for their actual vehicle expenses, the lawsuit said, drivers were reimbursed based on a percentage of the price of each order, between 6.5 and 7.5 percent. Settlement documents said drivers were being paid .38 cents a mile, substantially less than the IRS standard business mileage rate, which last year was 57.5 cents per mile.

The documents say it is undisputed that food delivery companies must pay minimum wage workers for expenses incurred when they use their own vehicles.

The lawsuit also said drivers, who actually are paid an hourly wage below minimum wage because they receive tips, were performing work, like folding pizza boxes and cleaning, that required them to be paid a higher wage during those times.

About 40 nearly identical lawsuits have also been filed against other LaRosa’s franchises as well as Domino’s, Papa John’s and Jimmy John’s Gourmet Sandwiches, including in other states.

One of those lawsuits involved LaRosa's Inc., which owns a dozen stores. It was dismissed in December, court records show. Buscani said the case "had no merit."

Watch the video: Delivery driver fights Dominos for years of back pay (July 2022).


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