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Papa Johns Drivers Filing Lawsuits Over Unfair Wages

picture+taken+from+%40papajohns+twitter
picture taken from @papajohns twitter

picture taken from @papajohns twitter

picture taken from @papajohns twitter

Jessica Townsend

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Papa Johns drivers in South Carolina have been increasingly filing lawsuits toward the company. These employees are being paid below minimum wage, and the company has not been covering gas money and other car expenses, as they are supposed to, according to federal law.

It is not uncommon for pizza places to violate the minimum wage laws. There have been dozens of lawsuits against almost all the pizza companies in America(pizzalawsuits.com). When at the store, workers are paid by the hour. Drivers, however, are paid by the mile, causing their pay to vary each day and sometimes drop below the minimum wage.

In an example of a wage and hour class lawsuit in Florida, 2016, a driver by the name Ricardo Jinenez filed a lawsuit toward Papa Johns for violating the Fair Labor Standards Act. His attorney said “The industry standard is unreasonable reimbursement. The pizza companies just don’t pay attention to the IRS rate. Somehow they justify rates around 20 cents a mile, at best somewhere around 30 cents a mile.” He says that these reinbursment rates, “provide such an unreasonably low rate beneath any reasonable approximation of the expenses they incur that the drivers’ unreimbursed expenses cause their net wages to fall below the federal and Florida minimum wages during some or all workweeks(topclassactions.com).” Because of this, most drivers only get around $5 an hour at best. The minimum wage is $7.25.

Delivery fees for most pizza places range from $1-$3. This money does not actually go to the driver. It is a tax that can go to various different things for the store such as bags, computer systems, and getting back the money lost in coupons and discounts. Many people think that the fee goes to the driver, so they don’t tip them. Considering the wage problems, it is very important for people to tip fairly.

Two cases of underpaid drivers in South Carolina were dismissed in 2016(Stayler vs Rohoho) and 2017(Phillips vs Pizzathepie). Prince vs Perfect Delivery Inc. is currently pending in the United States District Court for the District of South Carolina. It has been certified as a collective action. Anyone who has worked as a delivery driver for Papa Johns in the past three years could be certified to join the case and possibly get reimbursment(paulllp.com). 

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Papa Johns Drivers Filing Lawsuits Over Unfair Wages