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Toppers Pizza Franchises Delivery Driver Dispute

The lawsuit is called Pazfahl v. FSM ZA, LLC. In April 2021, Plaintiff amended the complaint to add Perfect Timing, LLC, another of Burns’ companies operating additional Toppers Pizza stores.

If you are a delivery driver who works or who has worked at this or any other pizza company around the country, contact our firm to find out if you might be owed unreimbursed expenses. We can explain the process you can go through to get those expenses back. Give us a call at (513) 428-8689 or fill out the contact form on this website for a free consultation.

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Case Details


Pazfahl v. FSM ZA, 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 the company reimburses a per-delivery amount (ex., $1/delivery) that is not enough to cover the drivers’ vehicle expenses. The plaintiff alleges that this under-reimbursement results in a minimum wage or other wage and hour violations.

The plaintiff, a former Toppers Pizza delivery driver who seeks to represent all FSM ZA and Perfect Timing delivery drivers in federal court, claims that Defendants broke the law by underpaying its delivery drivers for automobile expenses.

Federal law prohibits employers from paying employees less than minimum wage, either outright or by improperly shifting costs onto employees.

 The Claims

 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 (for example, $.58 per mile in 2019) 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 defendants usually argue, the plaintiff alleges that Burns’ Toppers stores have failed to “reasonably approximate.”

Plaintiff alleges that this practice violates the federal Fair Labor Standards Act, Wisconsin wage laws Wis. Stat. § 104.01 et seq., Wis. Stat. § 109.01 et seq., and Wisc. Admin. Code § DWD 272.03(2)(b).

Violation of the Rules for Claiming a Tip Credit

Second, the plaintiff alleges the company failed to properly claim a “tip credit” against the minimum wage because they failed to actually pay the wage rate they promised to pay, after account for under-reimbursement expenses.

In addition to under-reimbursed expenses, the drivers claim they are entitled to the difference between full minimum wage and the “tipped wage rate” the employer claimed to pay because of this failure. For example, if a driver was paid $5.00 per hour on the road in a state where minimum wage was $7.25, they would be entitled to $2.25 for each hour worked ($7.25 – $5.00 = $2.25) in the plaintiff prevails on this claim.





Update 08-24-2022

Plaintiff field his Reply in Support of Class Certification.


Update 08-10-2022

Defendants filed their Response in Opposition to Class Certification.


Update 05-18-2022

The Court held a telephone conference to discuss Defendants’ Motion to Compel Discovery and permitted Defendants to take 5 depositions before being required to respond to Plaintiff’s Motion for Class Certification.

Update 05-11-2022

Update 04-29-2022

Plaintiff filed a Response in Opposition to Defendants’ Motion to Compel Discovery.


Update 04-22-2022

Defendants filed a Motion to Compel Discovery.


Update 05-17-2021

Defendants filed a Reply in Support of their Motion to Dismiss.


Update 05-04-2021

Plaintiff filed a Reply in Support of his Motion to Send Notice


Update 05-03-2021

Plaintiff filed a Response in Opposition to Defendants’ Motion to Dismiss.


Update 04-20-2021

Defendants filed a Response in Opposition to Plaintiff’s Motion to Send Notice


Update 04-12-2021

Defendants filed a Motion to Dismiss the First Amended Complaint.


Update 03-29-2021

Plaintiff filed his First Amended Complaint, adding an additional entity operating Defendants’ Toppers Pizza stores.


Update 09-09-2020

Plaintiff filed a Motion to Send Notice to the other pizza delivery drivers, to inform them about their opportunity to join the ongoing lawsuit.


Update 08-06-2020

Plaintiff filed class and collective action Complaint.



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