Federal Law clearly states that pizza drivers MUST be reimbursed at least the (IRS) standard business mileage rate of 56.5 cents per mile (2013) or for their actual costs if they are paid minimum wage or less. We have also found that "Tips in excess of statutory tip credit may not be credited against uniform purchase and maintenance costs"
What this all means is that if you are paid minimum wage or less, your mileage or commission or reimbursement MUST be at least 56.5 cents per mile or equal to your actual costs for miles driven while delivering pizza. If not, they are ripping you off and BREAKING FEDERAL LAW!
Here is all the law info found on the matter:
From page 31 of the DOL Field Operations Handbook (FOH) chapter 30
Car expenses - employee‘s use personal car on employer‘s business.
In some cases it is necessary to determine the costs involved when employees use their cars on their employer‘s business in order to determine MW compliance. For example, car expenses are frequently an issue for delivery drivers employed by pizza or other carry-out type restaurants.
(a) As an enforcement policy, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) standard business mileage rate found in IRS Publication 917, "Business Use of a Car" may be used (in lieu of actual costs and associated recordkeeping) to determine or evaluate the employer‘s wage payment practices for FLSA purposes. The IRS standard business mileage rate (currently 28 cents per mile)(EDIT: Now it is 55.5 cents per mile as of 2012) represents depreciation, maintenance and repairs, gasoline (including taxes), oil, insurance, and vehicle registration fees. In situations where the IRS rate changes during the investigation period, the applicable rates should be applied on a pro-rata basis.
(b) The IRS standard business mileage rate may be used in lieu of actual costs for FLSA purposes whether or not the employee will be able to take a deduction on his or her tax return for the business use of the employee‘s car.
From page 38 of the DOL Field Operations Handbook (FOH) chapter 30
"Tips in excess of statutory tip credit may not be credited against uniform purchase and maintenance costs"
From: Fact Sheet #16: Deductions From Wages for Uniforms and Other Facilities Under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA)
Other Items: Employers at times require employees to pay or reimburse the employer for other items. The cost of any items which are considered primarily for the benefit or convenience of the employer would have the same restrictions as apply to reimbursement for uniforms. In other words, no deduction may be made from an employee‘s wages which would reduce the employee‘s earnings below the required minimum wage or overtime compensation.
Some examples of items which would be considered to be for the benefit or convenience of the employer are tools used in the employee‘s work, damages to the employer‘s property by the employee or any other individuals, financial losses due to clients/customers not paying bills, and theft of the employer‘s property by the employee or other individuals. Employees may not be required to pay for any of the cost of such items if, by so doing, their wages would be reduced below the required minimum wage or overtime compensation. This is true even if an economic loss suffered by the employer is due to the employee‘s negligence.
Employers may not avoid FLSA minimum wage and overtime requirements by having the employee reimburse the employer in cash for the cost of such items in lieu of deducting the cost from the employee's wages.
(1) A minimum wage employee working as a cashier is illegally required to reimburse the employer for a cash drawer shortage. (2) An employer improperly requires tipped employees to pay for customers who walk out without paying their bills or for incorrectly totaled bills. (3) An employer furnishes elaborate uniforms to employees and makes them responsible for having the uniforms cleaned. (4) An employee driving the employer's vehicle causes a wreck, and the employer holds the employee responsible for the repairs, thereby reducing the employee's wages below the minimum wage. (5) A security guard is required to purchase a gun for the job, and the cost causes him/her to not earn the minimum wage. (6) The cost of an employer-required physical examination cuts into an employee's minimum wage or overtime.
If your employer is BREAKING FEDERAL LAW by making YOU pay out of pocket to deliver THEIR product, you should make a MINIMUM WAGE VIOLATION complaint to the Department of Labor.
Print out THIS POST and have it in front of you when you call. Employers ARE NOT REQUIRED to pay you mileage! BUT, they ARE REQUIRED to pay at least MINIMUM WAGE. They are also REQUIRED to reimburse you for "The cost of any items which are considered primarily for the benefit or convenience of the employer" if that cost makes your adjusted wage go below minimum wage.
If you don‘t know how to figure this stuff out ASK! We will help you!
DEPARTMENT OF LABOR Wage and Hour Division Website: http://www.wagehour.dol.gov and/or call our toll-free information and helpline, available 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. in your time zone, 1-866-4USWAGE (1-866-487-9243).