As reported yesterday in the Cherry Hill Courier-Post, pizza company Domino’s is being sued in a proposed class-action lawsuit by delivery persons in South Jersey who claim they are not being paid the required minimum wage. The plaintiffs contend that Domino’s does not properly reimburse the drivers for the full cost of using their personal vehicles to deliver Domino’s products to consumers. The federal business mileage reimbursement rate has averaged about 55 cents per mile over the last few years. By contrast, the lawsuit claims, the Domino’s drivers have only received about 90 cents per delivery, which equates to about 18 cents per mile for a typical pizza delivery trip. This has resulted in a wage reduction of approximately $3.60 per hour, making the typical hourly wage for a Domino’s driver to be less than $5 — far less than the federal or New Jersey state minimum wages. The lawsuit also asserts that drivers are compelled to purchase their own Domino’s jackets for $25, which further reduces their hourly wage.
Domino’s pay practices have drawn fire in other states as well. New York has brought several cases against the pizza chain, garnering settlements of almost $450,000 on behalf of workers who were allegedly underpaid. One year later, 29 different New York Domino’s locations paid $970,000 in settlements for the exact same claim, according to website Grubstreet.
It goes without saying that a global company such as Domino’s, with literally billions of dollars of sales per year, has the means to ensure that its employees are paid properly and in accordance with the law. Whether Domino’s has the will to do so remains to be seen. The negative publicity generated by cases such as this one and others may be the push Domino’s needs to decide to treat its employees better. There is clearly more than enough “dough” to go around.