For many Americans, the back-up dinner plan is having a pizza delivered. As a relatively cheap and easy substitute for cooking or eating out, many fail to recognize the challenges a delivery driver faces getting that pizza to their front door. A delivery driver is forced to navigate the roads, and often in unfavorable weather conditions. The delivery drivers take on this often dangerous task of quickly getting your pizza to the door in exchange for a shockingly low hourly rate. In fact, many pizza franchises that employ delivery drivers utilize a tip credit to satisfy their minimum wage requirements. A tip credit permits an employer to pay an employee below the minimum wage if they regularly and customarily receive tips.
Currently, the Federal Minimum wage rate is $7.25 per hour. Many states have increased that rate by state legislation. The general idea of a tip credit is that the employee’s tips will bring their hourly rate above what the law requires the minimum hourly rate to be. However, this doesn’t always happen. Particularly, in the case of pizza delivery drivers.
It is customary to tip the server 15% to 20% when dining out, however, pizza delivery drivers don’t always receive the same gratuity. They brave the hazards of driving to our homes to bring our food, but are too often tipped poorly – or not at all. Additionally, the driver incurs vehicle expenses in getting the pizza to your door. Often, they are provided with insufficient or no vehicle reimbursement expenses. This creates the perfect storm for a minimum wage violation and can result in an unlawful kick-back to the employer.
In recent years, several large pizza delivery companies have been implicated in wage and hour lawsuits that have sought to recover millions of dollars in wages on behalf of deliver drivers.
The Wage Authority Group is now interviewing pizza delivery drivers who are potentially the victims of unlawful wage and hour practices. Contact our attorneys today to schedule an interview.
Image link: https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/0/01/2009-03-20_Papa_John%27s_Pizza_out_for_delivery_in_Durham.jpg