On May 17, 2021, the United States District Court for the Southern District of Ohio approved a class action settlement between Domino’s franchisee EUBA Corp. and their delivery drivers.
The delivery drivers claimed that the company underpaid for mileage. In other words, the drivers used their own cars for work, but the reimbursement payments they received from the company were not sufficient to cover all of their driving expenses. As a result, the drivers alleged, the company was in violation of the Fair Labor Standards Act and Ohio wage laws. The company denies they violated the law. The case is McConnell v. EUBA Corp., et al., No. 3:18-cv-355 (S.D. Ohio).
This week, the Court approved the settlement agreement reached between the parties. Read the full Opinion here.
On average, after deducting attorneys’ fees and costs, the settlement will pay each delivery driver $772.56, or approximately 11 cents for each mile they drove during the settlement period.
In its Order, U.S. District Judge Walter H. Rice explained that, if a pizza company in Ohio employs minimum wage workers to deliver their food and requires those drivers to provide their own cars to make deliveries, they have choices in setting their reimbursement policy: they can either keep track of and reimburse for actual expenses, or they can reimburse at the IRS rate. There is no third choice.
“Courts in this district have concluded that, in order to comply with the FLSA and Ohio minimum wage law, employers of minimum wage delivery drivers who provide cars to use at work must either keep track of and reimburse for the drivers’ actual automobile expenses or reimburse at the IRS standard business mileage rate for each mile driven.”
The Court also explained that, if the employer also claims a “tip credit” from their workers’ wages, the failure to fully reimburse triggers a violation of the tip rules, meaning the company owes the workers the difference between the tipped wage rate they paid and full minimum wage.
“When an employer fails to actually pay the cash wage that they informed their tipped employees that they would pay, the employer fails to meet the requirements for taking a tip credit.”
In other words, an employee who has been under-reimbursed for mileage expenses is owed both his un-reimbursed expenses and the difference between full minimum wage and the tipped wage rate he or she was paid for all hours worked.
Under the terms of the Settlement Agreement, checks will be mailed to the delivery drivers on August 2, 2021.
If you are or were a EUBA delivery driver and have questions about this settlement, please give our office a call at 513-202-0710.
If you are a delivery driver for another company and you believe your company might be in violation of these rules, call our office at 513-202-0710 or complete the form below for a free, confidential consultation.
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Past results obtained by Biller & Kimble, LLC are no guarantee of future results. Each case or matter is different and must be judged on its own merits.