400+ pizza delivery drivers win $850K settlement

Pizza delivery drivers for Domino’s Pizza won $850,000 in an unopposed settlement to a wage lawsuit this week in Dayton’s federal court.

Domino’s and other defendants in the suit are obliged to pay $850,000 to legal class members who submit a claim form and release, according to the motion for final settlement approval OK’ed this week by U.S. District Judge Walter Rice.

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According to Rice’s court order, the money is allocated to class members so that they will receive reimbursement of up to 30 cents per mile that they drove working for Domino’s. The settlement is meant to be based on reimbursing class members for the difference between a 45-cent “compromise reimbursement rate” and the average 30 cents members were actually paid, plus an equal amount to account for damages, the order says.

About 411 drivers have submitted claims, the court said. The order says class members will receive an average of about $2,068 each, although individual awards will vary based on miles driven.

In addition, defendants have agreed not to oppose a fee award of up to $250,000 plus expenses, the filing said.

According to Rice’s filing, the corporate Domino’s defendants — Domino’s Pizza Inc., Domino’s Pizza LLC and Domino’s Pizza Franchising LLC — alleged that they did not employ the plaintiffs, arguing instead that franchise defendants did.

The suit was filed against the corporate defendants named above, as well as TJK-ELS Inc., TJK-ELS West End Inc. and others.

A spokesman for Domino's Pizza Inc. said his company was named a defendant along with the franchise entities.
"The franchise entity elected to settle the matter and as part of the settlement is getting all claims dismissed (including those against us)," the spokesman said. "We are being dismissed at the same time as the franchisee."

“We think this settlement is a good result for our delivery driver class members,” plaintiffs’ attorney Andrew Kimble said in an email. “We hope that our clients’ actions in this case give other pizza delivery drivers the courage to come forward and speak up about the pizza industry's policies that under-reimburse drivers for their car expenses.

Kimble added: “We were impressed by the franchise owners' professionalism in how they handled this case.”

A message was also sent to a Domino’s media representative.

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