(10,000 miles x $.58 per mile - reimbursement at the IRS mileage rate)
(10,000 miles x $.30 per mile – reimbursement actually paid)
If you are a pizza delivery driver, you know the drill: you are likely paid minimum wage (or less), you drive you own car for work, and you are reimbursed either a flat rate per delivery (say, $1 per delivery) or you are paid a per mile reimbursement rate that is about half of the IRS standard business mileage rate, which is around $0.58/mile. You may not know that this arrangement often violates minimum wage laws.
As a result, if you are a delivery driver, you may be owed unpaid wages and other damages.
The Department of Labor's Field Operations Handbook requires pizza companies who pay minimum wage to either
(1) Keep track of and reimburse for their drivers’ actual expenses
(2) Reimburse drivers at the IRS standard business mileage rate (currently $.58 per mile) for all miles driven on the job.
Unless a pizza delivery company meets this standard, the company may be breaking the federal minimum wage law. Although not obvious at first, under-reimbursing drivers for delivery expenses ends up dropping the drivers' effective wages below minimum wage.
Think about it this way: all of that money the company is saving by under-reimbursing drivers for the expenses of driving their cars (wear and tear, gasoline, insurance, maintenance, etc.), is money that you, the employee end up paying. This hidden cost drops you below minimum wage. Important note: tips do not count into this, so even if you make a lot of money in tips, your employer can still be breaking the law.
While this claim is not obvious by looking at your paystub, the damages can add up quickly! For example, a driver who drives 10,000 miles at $.30 per mile could potentially be owed $2,800 in unpaid wages.
In addition, drivers may also be eligible to receive liquidated damages or other types of damages on top of their unpaid wages.
In addition to “reimbursement” claims, delivery drivers often experience other types of wage theft. For example, if they are improperly paid a tipped wage rate, have improper deductions taken for uniforms or other items, are required to work inside the restaurant while working at a tipped wage rate, or are required to work off the clock, their employer may be breaking the law.
Biller & Kimble represents drivers around the country. If you are a pizza delivery driver and would like to learn more about your rights and options, complete the form below and someone from our firm will contact you.
Did you know?
You most likely must be reimbursed for out of pocket expenses such as gas, car insurance, and car maintenance expenses.
Unreimbursed or under-reimbursed out-of-pocket expenses are considered deductions that count against your hourly pay rate.
Your employer is not permitted to treat the tips you receive as wages they paid you.
You most likely have to be paid at least full minimum wage while working inside the store.
Depending on how many deliveries you make each hour, and how far you have to drive to complete those deliveries, the reimbursement you receive from your employer might be way too low!
Learn more about delivery driver claims by reviewing our Case Study on Mullins v. Southern Ohio Pizza.