Of the low paid, hourly employees who are susceptible to getting ripped off by their employers through underpayment and refusal to pay for work performed, delivery drivers are one of the most vulnerable groups. They are tipped employees, which means employers can pay them the reduced minimum wage of $2.13 per hour as long as the combination of their tips and wages equals at least the regular minimum wage. If their tips and wages do not add up to the regular minimum wage, the employer is required to make up the difference with additional wages.
Delivery drivers have an especially hard time making ends meet because, in addition to living expenses, they also generally have to supply their own vehicle in order to make the deliveries. That means car insurance, gas, and the costs of maintaining the vehicle, all of which can add up quickly. As a result, several companies who offer delivery services have been hit with allegations of wage and hour violations by their delivery drivers who claim that, when the costs of maintaining a vehicle to perform the deliveries are taken into account, they earn less than the legally required minimum wage.
One such lawsuit has recently been filed against Domino’s Pizza and two of its Illinois franchisees by a class of current and former delivery drivers who claim they are being paid less than minimum wage. The lead plaintiff in the wage and hour lawsuit, Samantha Young, used to deliver pizzas for a Domino’s location in Willowbrook, and she is seeking to represent a class of delivery drivers who currently work, or have worked, at two multi-location Domino’s franchisees in Illinois: Rolling in the Dough and JWG. According to claims in Young’s complaint, the combination of the delivery drivers’ required expenses for their vehicles, uniforms, and the untipped work they perform in store, all added up until Young and her fellow delivery drivers were allegedly being paid less than minimum wage. Continue reading