Papa John’s Sued For Failure To Pay Minimum Wages

Joplin Independent:

quotation.jpgStueve Siegel Hanson LLP in Kansas City, Mo. and Weinhaus & Potashnick in St. Louis, Mo. recently filed lawsuits in Missouri and Colorado against Papa John’s International, Inc. and one of the largest Papa John’s franchises. Papa John’s International, Inc. operates nearly 600 corporate Papa John’s stores in the United States. The franchisee (PJCOMN Acquisition Corp. and Essential Pizza, Inc.) operates more than 80 Papa John’s franchise stores in Colorado and Minnesota.

The plaintiffs allege that Papa John’s International, Inc. and the franchisee are violating the Fair Labor Standards Act, the Colorado Minimum Wage of Workers Act, and Missouri’s wage and hour laws by failing to adequately reimburse drivers for automobile costs and other job-related expenses, causing them to earn less than minimum wage.

Pizza companies require their delivery drivers to maintain operable, safe and legally-compliant vehicles. To do so, the drivers must purchase their own gasoline, vehicle parts, fluids, repairs, maintenance services and insurance. Meanwhile, their vehicles depreciate rapidly while driving on the job. Some employees commonly drive more than 100 miles per shift. AAA Auto Club calculates (“Behind the Numbers,” AAA communication, 2009 edition) the average 2009 annual cost of operating a vehicle at $8,095.00 for 15,000 miles. This equates to a per mile cost of $0.54.

The pizza delivery industry maintains a practice of paying its drivers a fixed amount per delivery, regardless of whether a delivery is one block from the restaurant or eight miles away in the next town. Reimbursement rates vary amongst chains from about $0.75 to $1.25 per delivery. However, there appears to be no correlation between the size of the delivery area or average delivery mileage and the amount of delivery reimbursement. This “one-size-fits-all” approach, rather than reimbursing drivers based on their actual mileage or their actual automobile expenses incurred, fails to adequately compensate drivers for the true and full cost of using their own vehicles to deliver their employer’s pizzas.

9 Responses to “Papa John’s Sued For Failure To Pay Minimum Wages”

  1. llx2 Says:

    After this lawsuit, papa johns has started paying minimum wage while in the store and less than we were paid before while on delivery. This is a net loss for almost all delivery drivers. Is that legal?

  2. Papa Johns Driver Says:

    I am a Papa Johns employee in FL and when we are “out on a run delivering pizza” we make $4.25 plus 0.90 cents for every order we take. Our delivery area is approx 7 miles north, east and south of our location so on the furthest delivery we get paid 0.90 cents instead of $7.56. Its a rip off but with so little work available any where else at the moment we just have to “suck it up”. I know that all the other drivers are fed up with it and some of them have S.U.V’s with 4.6 liter V8s. Gas prices keep rising and we are just left to fend for our selfs. I wish we had a union so we could go on strike!

  3. wv papa john's driver Says:

    I’m papa john’s driver in WV. I’ve been thinking of filing the same suit. We’re expected to cover a massive expanse, without adequate compensation at all. In fact, if I’m not tipped I end up paying up to a couple of bucks per run in gas. The management refuses to even acknowledge that there’s anything wrong a fellow American working less than 30 hours, making far less than minimum wage, and getting paid by weekly. The man who owns my store is Dan Ramey. He’s worth hundreds of millions, lives in the same town, has never worked a day in his life, and doesn’t seem to mind that I’m starving. Let’s burn this motherfucker to the ground!

  4. JNE driver Says:

    theyre all greedy crooks. especially jordan dorsch. with the rising gas prices and low mileage paid, its hard to make money driving anymore. while the managers enjoy paid vacations and cruises for stores making record bonuses, rank and file employees get the shaft. i was jumped on a delivery and had my car kicked in, the windshield broken by a group of youths at an apt. so who pays for the damage, the apt complex? NO. my employer? NO. my ins company? NO. i paid out of my pocket.papa johns is the worst company i ever worked for. the 4.25 on the road is ridiculous because managers clock us out on runs while we are STILL in the store waiting on orders, and they insist we work in the store while we’re waiting. so many employees walked out after they cut us to 4.25 an hr. i hope they go bankrupt.

  5. Mark Says:

    Iam a delivery driver for papa johns in North Carolina,We are paid minimum wage in store (7.25) and on the road we make 5.75.I put about 100 miles a night on my vehicle,In the past 3 months alone i have replaced all of my tires @ 400.00,Replaced the Radiator which that service was about 250,Had a major tune up the other day and that ran me 475 due to spark plug problems.Brakes every year (75 bucks a pop) Tires every year and roughly 800 in maitenence yearly..There is no reimbursment for this either..we are required to hurry or you are labled the “Slow” driver (rightfully so) but in hurrying you are also killing your vehicle..Iam one of the faster drivers if not the fastest .Just to give you a an idea of how screwed up this company is i was paid 8.5 percent of my deliveries (for mileage) and 6.15 an hour.At the time (2008) we we’re making a killing I’d pull about 100 dollars a night fri,sat,sun and about 60 to seventy on wed thur…Fast foward two years later..I make 7.15 an hour “in the store” and 5.75 “on the road” and 1.25 cent’s a run…I also haven’t had a 100 dollar day in forever..I burned over half a tank of gas last night and in 7 hours made 97..(which is good) but now im using more fuel money now that gas is 350 a gallon..and iam paid as for advice..Don’t work for this company..It cares nothing about it’s employees..You are just a number..a means to get a box of shit to the customer..Nothing more..nothing less..To sum it up..i make less now than i do 2 years ago..keep in mind iam one of if not the most efficient driver this company’s just pathetic

  6. Thomas Cain Says:

    We are paid $7.25 in store and $4.55 on delivery and 1.00 per run – after averaging 2 runs an hour a driver is making $6.55 (under minimum wage) and gets nothing for gas! If a driver gets no tip then he or she literally loses money delivering for Papa Johns.

    Now Papa Johns charges a $2.00 delivery fee and gives 1.00 to the driver for the run. A person paying 2.00 for a delivery is less likely to tip! Papa Johns literally eats the drivers tip to pay him less than minimum wage!!!!

    This is an outrage and a direct result of a lack of a union. This is what happens when unions are not there to protect workers. Many long time drivers went from making at least $10 + an hour to barely scraping a dollar above minimum wage. Many have left the industry only to be replaced by drivers that don’t last more than a few weeks to a few months at the most before they figure out just how hard they are getting screwed or knew it all along and just finally get enough of it.

    The ones that leave in a few weeks just bought a Papa Johns shirt and cap for $28.00 so what does Papa Johns care?

    This is a sad state of the industry which has taken a big fat steamer in the laps of its drivers and its representative of the lack of respect companies across the nation have for workers.

    A multimillion dollar lawsuit is what the drivers need. DOMINOS IS BEING SUED RIGHT NOW IN EVERY STATE!!!! PAPA JOHNS – YOUR NEXT!!!!

  7. Driver Says:

    Unions are not the answer, although unionize if you must. Manager’s overtime has not been paid as per FLSA standards. (Fair Labor Standards Act) … we are subsidizing this business model, with our time and property… if it were not so we would all be driving company vehicles.

  8. ian daugherty Says:

    i dont know what you guys are doing but i make considerably more than minimum wage at papa johns as a driver. learn to drive? most nights i make atleast 14 to 15 dollars an hour minus a little gas. on good nights i make 25 dollars an hour. my average tip is 2.5 on the whole and i get paid 4.80 on delivery and 7.25 in store. plus my delivery fee. i wouldnt drive an suv or truck or any 8 cylinder car to deliver pizza. thats just dumb. but even at that rate you would still make more than minimum wage unless you are delivering to the ghetto and getting no tips. if you ask for compensation they are just going to lower your delivery fee to compensate.

  9. Driver Says:

    Some of our deliveries are over 20 miles round trip! I can make that run in about 35 minutes. We get 1.35 per run, plus 4.25$ an hour. That run uses almost exactly 1 gallon of gas in my vehicle. todays price is 3.15$ a gallon. So I will get 1.35$ plus 35 minutes at 4.25 (approx 2.25) but I spend 3.15$ on the gas (thats just recently, in the past 6 mos its been more like 3.45-3-75 a gallon). So…….Im negative 1.80$ cents on gas—take that out of the 4.25 and I got 2.45 cents for that 35 minutes of work. even less if you count the damage to my vehicle—-common things are brakes, tires, clutches, clutch master and slave cylinders, alternators, starters. I do all my own work so I fare a little better than most of the other guys, but still, if you get a bunch of long runs with no tip, or low tip, your not coming out anywhere close to minumum wage (7.25 in my state). And–like this article says, because of the cost of maintenence, you have to be significantly over minimum wage to end up with min wage in the long run.

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