Arbitrator Rules Route 41 Pizza Driver Must be Reimbursed for Actual Expenses or at $.56 per mile
Biller & Kimble has scored another victory for a Domino’s delivery driver. On February 11, 2021, Arbitrator Sam Hanson (a former Minnesota Supreme Court Justice) ruled that a delivery driver who works for Route 41 Pizza is entitled to be reimbursed at the IRS rate (currently $.56 per mile) for his automobile expenses because the company did not keep records of the driver’s actual expenses.
The driver’s claim might sound familiar to you: he is paid a tipped wage on the road, drives his own car for work, but is only reimbursed between $.30 and $.35 per mile. We believe, and a number of federal courts have agreed with us, that this compensation arrangement violates federal and state minimum wage laws.
As a Southern District of Ohio court recently held:
“The proper measure of minimum wage compliance for pizza delivery drivers is to either (1) track and pay delivery drivers' actual expenses or (2) pay the mileage reimbursement rate set by the Internal Revenue Service.”
Hatmaker v. PJ Ohio, LLC, No. 3:17-cv-146, 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 191790, at *21 (S.D Ohio Nov. 5, 2019).
The company, on the other hand, claims that they do not have to meet this standard, but can instead “approximate” the delivery drivers’ auto expenses.
After considering arguments from both parties, the arbitrator ruled in favor of the delivery driver, finding that the driver's argument "finds support in the better-reasoned court decisions," whereas the company's argument "provides no meaningful guidance." In the end, the Arbitrator held that "employers must either record actual expenses or apply the IRS standard business mileage rate."
The IRS standard business mileage rate is currently $.56 per mile, nearly double what the company actually pays.
Are you a delivery driver for Route 41 Pizza? Are you reimbursed at or above $.56 per mile? If not, you might have a claim. Complete the form below or call us at 513-202-0710 for a free and confidential case evaluation. The lawyers at Biller & Kimble have extensive experience representing pizza delivery drivers all around the country and can advise you about your options.
Did you sign an arbitration agreement when you started employment? No problem. While that means that you can’t participate in a class action to attempt to vindicate the rights of your co-workers, Biller & Kimble attorneys are prepared to pursue your individual claim for unpaid wages in arbitration as vigorously as we would in a class action.
Think you can’t afford an attorney? Biller & Kimble only gets paid if we recover money for you. That means no up-front costs out of your pocket, so you can rest easy while we work hard to get you reimbursed. Contact us today to see if we can help you.
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.