Forester Haynie helped secure a big win last week when the Defendants’ second motion to dismiss was denied in a case brought by a former delivery driver against J & J & J Pizza (d/b/a Domino’s Pizza).
Our Lead Plaintiff, Michael Orth, is a former delivery driver of Domino’s Pizza in Massachusetts. Our complaint alleges that Domino’s Pizza failed to comply with both the Fair Labor Standards Act and the Massachusetts Minimum Fair Wage Act. By not appropriately compensating delivery drivers for vehicle expenses (gas, mileage, repair and maintenance services, insurance, etc.) according to the IRS’s standard business mileage reimbursement rate the franchise was willfully paying delivery drivers less than the federal and Massachusetts minimum wage.
The Defendants argument hinged on the fact that Orth failed to state his specific vehicle expenses which they state was fatal to his claims. But, under the FLSA, employees are not required to provide the exact amount of his actual expenses, instead the expectation is that employers pay employees a ‘reasonable estimate’ of their expenses. In this instance, the Defendant also cannot rely on a tip credit defense to overcome the alleged minimum wage deficiencies.
Based on this, the Defendants’ motion to dismiss was denied by the Massachusetts district court. Denying the Motion to Dismiss means the Judge recognizes that our Plaintiff has a valid legal claim under the FLSA & applicable state law and that this case will move forward.
During the preceding, the Judge cited another case brought by Forester Haynie, Rechtoris v. Dough Management, as another example in which the court denied the Defendants’ (also Domino’s Pizza) attempt to rely on tips to cover the hourly wage.
The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) mandates payments of minimum wage and overtime to most employees. If you have reason to believe you may be owed wages because your employer is failing to meet these standards, please contact us.