Willis & Brock Foods, Inc. and one individual with control of the business are on the receiving end of a proposed collective and class action that alleges the defendants deprived their delivery drivers of lawful minimum wages.
According to the lawsuit, the defendants operate numerous Papa John’s Pizza franchises where delivery drivers, such as the plaintiff, use and maintain their own vehicles to deliver orders “for precisely, or at the least very close to, the federal minimum wage.” The case says that the defendants also have an automobile reimbursement policy in place that compensates drivers on a per-delivery basis. The complaint calls this reimbursement policy into dispute, however, alleging that it allows for “much less than a reasonable approximation of its drivers’ automobile expenses.”
“During the time Plaintiff worked for Defendants as a delivery driver, she was reimbursed just $1.50 per delivery and on average drove 4-6 miles per delivery. This means plaintiff was getting paid between $.25 to $.375 per mile ($1.50 divided by 6 and 4 miles respectively)...[whereas] the IRS business mileage reimbursement rate ranged between $.56 and $.535 per mile…”
The lawsuit argues that the “net effect” of the defendants’ “flawed reimbursement policy” caused the plaintiff’s pay rate to fall below the federal minimum of $7.25 per hour. From the complaint:
“Defendants’ systematic failure to adequately reimburse automobile expenses constitutes a ‘kickback’ to Defendants such that the hourly wages it pays to Plaintiff and Defendants’ other delivery drivers are not paid free and clear of all outstanding obligations to Defendants.”