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Cincinnati pizza delivery drivers to share $1 million settlement in wage lawsuit

Posted at 5:00 AM, Jan 14, 2019
and last updated 2019-01-14 07:07:09-05

CINCINNATI — Some local Domino’s Pizza delivery drivers will share a $1 million settlement from a class-action lawsuit for unpaid wages and mileage.

Attorneys for 163 Cincinnati pizza delivery drivers employed by a 19-store Domino’s franchise filed a motion for final approval of the $1,070,000 settlement on Dec. 27.

U.S. District Judge Susan Dlott held a final court hearing on Jan. 10 and is expected to approve the unopposed settlement and dismiss the case this week, attorneys said.

“We believe the settlement is an excellent result for our pizza delivery driver class members,” said Andrew Kimble. “If approved, the drivers will receive an average of over $6,000 per person, which we hope is difference-making money for them.”

Domino's did not return a request for comment.

Kimble and his partner Andy Biller of Cincinnati firm Markovits, Stock & DeMarco have filed nearly 20 wage lawsuits on behalf of pizza delivery drivers across the nation.

In October a Dayton federal judge approved a $850,000 settlement that was shared by 411 Domino’s Pizza delivery drivers in that area. Each driver received roughly $2,068.

Paul Mullins, a delivery driver for a Domino’s franchise in Cincinnati, Southern Ohio Pizza, filed his lawsuit in June 2017.

He claimed that pizza franchise owners paid delivery drivers at or below minimum wage and, at the same time, required them to pay for their own delivery expenses like vehicle maintenance, insurance, vehicle wear and tear.

Mullins and other pizza delivery drivers were reimbursed $.28 per mile, instead of the IRS mileage baseline of approximately $.56 per mile, according to the lawsuit.

When there were no deliveries, Mullins was still paid a lower tipped wage for tasks such as building pizza boxes, cleaning, preparing food and taking orders.

Under the settlement agreement, pizza delivery drivers who joined the lawsuit class will receive $.51 per mile and $6 per hour for work they did inside the store. That is expected to total roughly $6,000 per worker.

“We hope Paul's actions in standing up for his co-workers will encourage others to come forward and help put an end to the pizza industry's systematic minimum wage violations,” Kimble said.

Named in the lawsuit are: Southern Ohio Pizza, which operates 19 stores as a Domino’s franchise from Loveland to Mason; franchise owners Louis and Karen Metro; Domino’s Pizza Inc.; Domino’s Pizza LLC; and Domino’s Pizza Franchising.

If Dlott approves the final settlement, the defendants would also pay $348,689 in Mullins’ attorney fees, $6,310 in legal expenses and $10,000 as an incentive award to Mullins.