Illinois Domino's Pizza Faces Employment and Wage Class Action

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Chicago, IL: An employment class action lawsuit has been filed against Domino’s Pizza and two franchisees in Illinois, alleging they pay their delivery drivers far less than the legal minimum wage.

Filed by Samantha Young, a former delivery driver for Domino’s Pizza in Rolling's Willowbrook, Illinois, the proposed class action seeks to represent employees who work or worked at two multistore Illinois franchisees, Rolling in the Dough and JWG and whose car costs, uniforms and untipped in-store work allegedly reduced their pay to well under Illinois state minimum wage.

According to Young, drivers pay for their own gas, insurance, car maintenance and uniforms. They are allegedly reimbursed about a dollar for each five- to seven-mile delivery they make even though the actual costs are more, which results in pay levels under the minimum state wage, according to the complaint. Young further asserts that Domino's HQ is presumably fine with that given its level of control over franchises' decisions.

“Defendants have failed to pay plaintiff and similarly situated delivery drivers the legally required minimum wage and overtime wages because they failed to adequately reimburse them for their automobile expenses or other job-related expenses,” the complaint states.

Taking into account the 2017 IRS business mileage reimbursement rate of 53.5 cents per mile and the JWG reimbursement rate of about 21 cents per mile, “every mile driven on the job decreased … net wages by approximately $.325,” the complaint states. “Plaintiff consistently 'kicked back' to the JWG defendants approximately $4.06 per hour,” assuming two and a half deliveries each hour, Young asserts.

With respect to the Rolling location, where the delivery radius is slightly larger and the reimbursement rate slightly smaller, “plaintiff consistently 'kicked back' to the Rolling in the Dough defendants approximately $5.018 per hour” at two deliveries per hour, the complaint states.

“Domino’s has the power to curtail the unlawful policies, patterns and/or practices alleged herein, but has refrained from doing so in order to continue to reap the profits from the franchise relationship,” Young asserts.

Further, the complaint alleges that because of online ordering, there is a reduced need for in-store employees, therefore Domino's now encourages franchisees to weight hiring towards drivers who can do in-store tasks when there are no deliveries. Those tasks include “tending the oven, taking orders, building pizza boxes, taking out trash, sweeping the food line, mopping, doing dishes, [and] making pizzas … plaintiff regularly spent about a quarter to a third of her time at work inside the JWG restaurants working in a non-tipped capacity,” according to the complaint.

The proposed class action seeks to establish two separate collectives under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), one for JWG delivery drivers and one for Rolling delivery drivers, as well as two classes under Rule 23 of federal civil procedure.

The collectives apply to failure to pay minimum wage under FLSA, and the classes apply to counts under the Illinois Minimum Wage Law, the Illinois Wage Payment and Collection Act for unpaid wages, and IWPCA for unlawful deductions.

Young is represented by Michael Fradin of The Law Office of Michael L. Fradin and Andrew Biller and Andrew Kimble of Markovits Stock & DeMarco LLC.

The case is Young v. Rolling in the Dough Inc. et al., case number 1:17-cv-07825, in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois.

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