Since opening our doors in October 2018, Biller & Kimble, LLC has helped food delivery drivers recover $28,395,119.67 in unpaid wages, damages, attorney’s fees, and litigation expenses from employers who use an insidious scheme to pass their own business expenses off on their lowest paid workers.
The scheme goes like this: In nearly every corner of the country, the pizza industry pays its delivery drivers minimum wage (or close to it), requires the drivers to use their own cars to make deliveries, but fails to adequately reimburse drivers for the costs of operating their vehicles. Because the drivers are paid minimum wage, this under-reimbursement results in a minimum wage violation. The law calls this a “kickback.”
Starting in 2018, our firm, led by partners Andrew Biller and Andrew Kimble, set out to take these wages back from the pizza industry and return them to the drivers, where they belong. We have done this by filing unpaid wage class actions nationwide against Domino’s, Pizza Hut, Papa John’s, Jimmy John’s, and other brands.
In less than 3 years, we have already helped tens of thousands of delivery drivers recover over $28 million in unpaid wages, damages, attorney’s fees and costs.
We have recovered this money by filing class actions and/or individual arbitrations all across the country against the owners and operators of hundreds of Domino’s, Papa John’s, Pizza Hut, and other .
In this period, we have also won a number of court decisions which held that employers have two choices when it comes to reimbursing minimum wage workers for their vehicle expenses: they can either collect records of the drivers’ actual expenses and reimburse for them, or they can reimburse at the IRS standard business mileage rate (currently $.56/mile). For a description of one such recent victory, click here: Breaking: Federal Judge Sides with Delivery Drivers over Pizza Industry.
Despite this success, however, the industry still persists in underpaying their drivers. The industry relies on a misinterpretation of the Fair Labor Standards Act and its regulations to argue that they are permitted to “reasonably approximate” the drivers’ expenses, and has convinced some courts to adopt their shadowy standard. In practice, the “reasonable approximation” standard often results in employers reimbursing delivery drivers less than half of the IRS standard business mileage rate, which is the national average cost for driving a vehicle. In other words, the industry seems to be using this vague standard to justify a low reimbursement rate that is not actually a “reasonable approximation” of anything.
Do you provide your own car to make deliveries for a food industry employer? If so, we encourage you to take the time to understand your wage rights. Because if you do not, there is a good chance you will have those rights violated.
Contact our firm for a free and confidential consultation at 513-202-0710 or by completing the form below to see what you can do to help yourself and other drivers all around the country.