A Minnesota court recently determined that a pizza delivery driver for “Domino’s Pizza” is similarly situated with nearly 22,000 current and former delivery drivers. As a result, the Domino’s employee may bring his claim on behalf of the nearly nationwide class that Domino’s violated the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) by not paying its drivers the federal minimum wage.
The current federal minimum wage is $6.55 per hour, although in a few states – unfortunately not Georgia – the minimum wage is higher.
In Luiken v. Domino’s Pizza, the court reviewed whether a compensation scheme that was based certain factors such as drivers’ fuel economy, maintenance, operating and other fixed costs but did not reimburse for actual delivery costs ended up paying drivers less than the federal minimum wage. In 2009, the delivery driver filed a suit on behalf of current and former delivery drivers from 2006 to the present for unpaid wages and liquidated damages.
Domino’s argued that the drivers’ reimbursement rates varied by region and should not be allowed to proceed as a class. The court disagreed, concluding that all drivers were subject to the same nationwide policy. The court also stated that it was exercising its discretion to provide notice to all potential class members due to the large size and geographic scope affected.
Often a company may follow a policy that on its face seems fair, but in practice violates the FLSA – either by denying its workers minimum wage or all overtime compensation due. In Luiken, the policy in question met federal minimum wage standards on its face, but on closer look, the actual wages earned fell below the minimum wage requirements.
For more information or if you believe you have been denied all the compensation you are entitled to, please contact Buckley Bala Wilson Mew LLP, a Georgia law firm dedicated to employee’s rights.