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Hoffman v. Déjà Vu Pizza, LLC.

Delivery Drivers

This lawsuit was filed on January 14,2022, on behalf of pizza delivery drivers who worked for any of the company’s locations between January 14, 2019 through the present.

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Case Details


The Claims

The lawsuit asserted claims that are all too common in the pizza industry. This lawsuit, and similar lawsuits and arbitrations, alleges that the Papa John’s franchise owned by Defendants Déjà vu and Harold Rose under-reimburses its delivery drivers for the costs the drivers incur when they use their car for the company’s purposes, i.e., to make deliveries. Specifically, the drivers claim that the company reimburses a per delivery amount that is not enough to cover the drivers’ vehicle expenses. This alleged under-reimbursement results can result in a minimum wage or other wage and hour violation.

 Unreimbursed for Vehicle Costs

First, Plaintiff claims that the delivery drivers at Defendants’ Papa John’s stores were not adequately reimbursed for the costs associated with using their own vehicles to perform work for Déjà Vu. The plaintiff alleges that throughout the relevant time, Déjà Vu Pizza reimbursed drivers a set amount per delivery that resulted in the drivers being paid somewhere between $0.125 and $0.208 per mile.

Biller & Kimble has successfully argued in a number of cases that employers have two choices when reimbursing for vehicle expenses: they can either (1) keep records of the drivers’ actual expenses and reimburse for them, or (2) reimburse at the IRS standard business mileage rate, which changes every year and is currently 62.5 cents per mile.

Learn more about the drivers’ “under-reimbursement” claim here: Legal Blog

Paid Tipped Wage Rate for Hours Worked Inside Restaurant

Second, the plaintiff claims that the drivers were paid a “tipped wage rate” (less than minimum wage) for hours they worked inside the restaurant. Because the drivers were not receiving tips for work done in the store, the plaintiff claimed that it was illegal for the company to pay them a tipped wage rate for these hours.



Update 08-29-2022

The Parties set the case schedule and are starting the discovery process. A 10-day trial is scheduled for April 2024.

Update 07-12-2022

The court denied the plaintiff’s motion for conditional certification, which is a request, often made early in a minimum wage lawsuit, to send notice of the action to “similarly situated” delivery drivers and offer them an opportunity to join the case, if they so choose.

The Court denied Plaintiff’s request  based on a line of cases that have held that an employee must prove that other employees, in addition to the named plaintiff, are or would be interested in joining the case before notice is sent. We respectfully disagree with this decision because we believe it overstates the burden on a worker who brings a case using the FLSA’s collective action mechanism. However, we also believe that there are other drivers out there who are or would be interested in joining the case if they knew it was taking pace. We intend to renew our motion when and if we hear from additional workers or gain information in discovery that confirms other workers are subject the underpayment alleges she was subjected to. If you are a driver at Déjà vu and are interested in joining the case or providing information about the way drivers are paid, please contact our office.

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