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Federal Court preliminarily approves $1.5 million settlement for Dayton Jet’s Drivers

 
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On February 9, 2022, a federal court granted preliminary approval of a settlement that will pay $1.5 million to the delivery drivers who worked at 5 Dayton, Ohio area Jet’s Pizza franchises from November 22, 2016 to August 31, 2020.

The delivery drivers alleged that the Jet’s Pizza stores failed to pay them proper wages because they required the drivers to provide cars to use at work, but, up until August 31, 2020, reimbursed the drivers a set amount for each delivery (e.g. $1.oo per delivery) that was not sufficient to cover the drivers’ vehicle expenses.

During the course of the lawsuit, the drivers were successful in convincing the Court that the company was required to reimburse the delivery drivers at the IRS standard business mileage rate (currently $.585 per mile) because they had failed to keep records of the actual expenses incurred by the delivery drivers. In explaining its decision, the Court stated:

“As a general principle, employers are not permitted to ‘guess’ or ‘approximate’ a minimum wage employee’s expenses for purposes of reimbursing the expenses. This would result in some employees receiving less than minimum wage, contrary to the FLSA mandate. Instead, as a general proposition, the FLSA requires employers to pay back the actual expenses incurred by the employees. In the pizza delivery driver context, however, determining and maintaining records of each employee’s actual expenses is a cumbersome task for the employer. The Department of Labor addressed this in its Field Operations Handbook, by giving employers a choice in order to ease their burden: either (1) keep records of delivery drivers’ actual expenses and reimburse for them or (2) reimburse drivers at the IRS standard business mileage rate…”

Shortly after the court’s ruling, the parties agreed to settle the case for $1.5 million. From there, a notice will be mailed to all of the class members explaining the details of the settlement. The Court will hold a Final Approval Hearing on July 13, 2022 to make a final determination about whether to approve the settlement. If approved, the settlement will be distributed in two rounds of payment. The first payment will take place 40 days after the Court grants Final Approval, and the second check will be mailed on June 1, 2023.

If you are a delivery driver who worked at any of the Jet’s Pizza locations in the Dayton area from November 22, 2016 to August 31, 2020, contact our office to learn more about this lawsuit.

If you are a delivery driver who is required to use their own car to make deliveries, contact our firm to learn about your legal rights. Since 2018, we have recovered over $30 million for pizza delivery drivers and other workers who have been underpaid by their employers. Consultations are free, confidential, and only take a few minutes.

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ADVERTISING ONLY: The information on this blog is not, nor is it intended to be, legal advice. You should consult an attorney for individual advice regarding your own situation.

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.