Like many other similar cases around the county, the lawsuit alleges that the company enacted and enforced reimbursement policies that resulted in their delivery drivers making less than minimum wage for the hours they work after accounting for expenses.
Federal law prohibits employers from paying employees less than minimum wage, either outright or by improperly shifting costs onto employees.
The lawsuit asserts claims against a number of Defendants that Plaintiff alleges operate Papa John’s franchises in Colorado: Apex Pizza Holdings LLC; HPG Pizza I, LLC; HPG Pizza II, LLC; DCT Enterprises of Colorado, LLC; Rob Prange; and Jim Parrish.Read Full Case Details
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Opperman v. Apex Pizza Holdings LLC, like the many similar pizza delivery driver lawsuits around the country, alleges that the company and its owners under-pay their delivery drivers for the costs the drivers sustain when they use their cars for the company’s purposes, i.e., to make deliveries. Specifically, the drivers claim that prior to March 2021 the company reimbursed at a per delivery rate of $1.00 per delivery. In March 2021, the company began reimbursing based on a per-mile amount (ex., $0.26/mile). The drivers allege that both of these reimbursement methods were not enough to cover the drivers’ vehicle expenses, and this under-reimbursement results in a minimum wage or other wage and hour violations.
Under-reimbursement of Vehicle Expenses
First, the plaintiff alleges that the company does not properly reimburse for vehicle expenses.
The drivers’ position is that they must be reimbursed at the IRS standard business mileage rate (currently $.625 per mile) when the employer does not collect records of the drivers’ actual expenses and reimburse based on those records.
Even if the company is permitted to reimburse based on an “approximation,” as we expect the defendants will argue, the plaintiff alleges that the Apex Pizza Papa John’s stores have failed to “reasonably approximate” their expenses.
Plaintiff alleges that this practice violates the federal Fair Labor Standards Act and Colorado Minimum Wage law, C.R.S. § 8-4-101, et seq. and C.R.S. § 8-6-101, et seq.
In addition, the plaintiff asserts a claim for unjust enrichment. He alleges that the Apex Pizza Papa John’s stores unfairly benefit by requiring their minimum wage delivery drivers to cover one of their most costly business expenses without proper reimbursement. The drivers are conferring a benefit on the company, the company is aware of the benefit, and it would be unjust for the company to retain that benefit without commensurate compensation.
Lawsuit filed against Apex Pizza Holdings LLC, et al.
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