Driver sues Papa John's group (Heuberger v. Bajco, LLC)

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PostPosted: Tue Jan 20, 2015 4:04 am
Driver sues Papa John's group
Owner of local pizza shop accused of underpaying delivery drivers

http://www.kokomotribune.com/news/local ... 01d04.html

Posted: Thursday, September 18, 2014 4:48 pm

by Sarah Einselen For the Kokomo Tribune

INDIANAPOLIS — An Indiana man is suing the company that owns the Kokomo Papa John's pizza shop, saying the company cheated him out of adequate reimbursements for expenses he incurred as a delivery driver.

The suit alleges that the Bajco Group, which is a franchisee of about 129 Papa John's restaurants throughout the Midwest and Florida, violated federal wage and hour laws by failing to adequately reimburse its drivers for automobile expenses. The suit argues the reimbursements that were provided reduced pizza delivery drivers' net wages below minimum wage.

The driver who filed the lawsuit is seeking collective action status, according to a release from Paul McInnes LLP, a Missouri law firm representing the plaintiff.

The Bajco Group's website lists Kokomo among the cities with a Bajco-owned Papa John's franchise. The suit against the group was filed with the U.S. District Court, Southern District of Indiana, at the court's Indianapolis location.

Jason Heuberger, a driver for a Papa John's restaurant in Elkhart from November 2013 to this past May, alleges in the suit that the $1.10 reimbursement per delivery is too little to cover expenses he incurred during delivery trips, which averaged around 5 or 6 miles each.

Papa John's drivers are required to provide their own vehicle, the suit indicates. Reimbursement for an average 5.5-mile delivery works out to about 20 cents per mile, while the suit estimates Heuberger's actual expenses to have been in the neighborhood of 42 cents per mile.

The Internal Revenue Service reimbursement rate for business mileage during that period ranged between 55 and 57 cents per mile, the suit indicates.

Since Heuberger's wage, apart from the reimbursement, was $7.25 per hour, the federal minimum wage, the suit alleges his actual wage — the hourly wage minus what he alleges he lost because of inadequate delivery reimbursement — lies somewhere from $2.30 to $3.69 per hour.

"We've done a bunch of these cases and we feel very strongly about the integrity of this case," Jack McInnes, a spokesman for Paul McInnes LLP, said.

A spokesman for Bajco Group said the company does not comment on any pending legal action.

Other drivers who in the past three years have worked for a Papa John's franchise owned by the Bajco Group are eligible to join the case, McInnes said.

According to the law firm's release, about 3,800 Papa John's drivers have joined a similar case filed in the U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Missouri.
"If you ain't on the road, you ain't makin' money!" - gregster

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PostPosted: Tue Jan 20, 2015 4:07 am
Pizza Delivery Driver Cases

Paul McInnes LLP, Weinhaus & Potashnick and others are pursuing claims on behalf of current and former delivery drivers for minimum wage violations against several large pizza franchises.

The lawsuits allege that the pizza franchises violate federal wage and hour laws by failing to adequately reimburse their drivers for their automobile expenses which reduces pizza delivery drivers’ net wages below minimum wage.

http://paulmcinnes.com/featured-cases/p ... ver-cases/

Heuberger v. Bajco, LLC, et al.

Bajco, LLC and its associated entities operate approximately 129 Papa John’s franchise restaurants in Florida, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, New York, Ohio and Pennsylvania. The lawsuit is presently pending in the Southern District of Indiana.

Download: Bajco Complaint

Download: Bajco Order Re: Conditional Certification
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 20, 2015 6:51 pm
It's good to see more drivers getting involved. Thanks for keeping us updated Gregster.
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 04, 2015 10:33 am
We are currently scheduled to have a mediation meeting July 26th, 2015, in Indianapolis with Bajco's attorney's. The lawsuit has been conditionally certified as Class Action pending the consents of the other drivers. The more drivers that agree to become party to the lawsuit, the better chance we have at being successful in mediation.
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 04, 2015 4:19 pm
Welcome to the Board!

That's GREAT news! Thanks for joining us!
"If you ain't on the road, you ain't makin' money!" - gregster

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PostPosted: Wed Mar 04, 2015 5:03 pm
jasonheuberger wrote:We are currently scheduled to have a mediation meeting July 26th, 2015, in Indianapolis with Bajco's attorney's. The lawsuit has been conditionally certified as Class Action pending the consents of the other drivers. The more drivers that agree to become party to the lawsuit, the better chance we have at being successful in mediation.

Welcome to the forum JH. I hope that you'll be able to gather many more drivers to lend strength to your claims. I know, from personal experience, the stress you're about to enjoy. I hope you are able to make a positive change for you and the likely thousands of driver in your franchise. Please keep us informed of any doings, if you're able.
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 05, 2015 2:27 am
jasonheuberger ... What advice do you have for other drivers that might be afraid or have questions about whether or not they should come forward to join in the lawsuit?

Should they be afraid to speak up or fear for their job? Should they fear having their hours cut or some other retaliation? How do you feel on the issue?
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 11, 2015 9:31 pm
gregster wrote:jasonheuberger ... What advice do you have for other drivers that might be afraid or have questions about whether or not they should come forward to join in the lawsuit?

Should they be afraid to speak up or fear for their job? Should they fear having their hours cut or some other retaliation? How do you feel on the issue?


Never be afraid to talk to an attorney about possible violations by your employer. Your employer cannot legally fire you for talking to an attorney about your job issues nor can they fire you for joining a lawsuit action; this typically also goes for drivers who have signed a class action waiver before getting hired, as the Nation Labor Relations Board found those to be in violation of your rights. This does NOT mean that your employers attorney's cannot try to kill any actions taken by bringing those up, but that should NOT stop you from taking actions.

I called not knowing if I even had a case at all, Mark was great at helping find out if we had a lawsuit or not. If you feel that you have been retaliated against for joining this and/or any other lawsuit, then please contact the attorney for that lawsuit and let them know. Any type of actions that your employer takes against you for joining a lawsuit and/or starting your own lawsuit can be grounds for a lawsuit.

If you are afraid, don't be. If no one ever speaks up, then these things would never get fixed.

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PostPosted: Wed Mar 11, 2015 10:45 pm
jasonheuberger wrote:
gregster wrote:jasonheuberger ... What advice do you have for other drivers that might be afraid or have questions about whether or not they should come forward to join in the lawsuit?

Should they be afraid to speak up or fear for their job? Should they fear having their hours cut or some other retaliation? How do you feel on the issue?


Never be afraid to talk to an attorney about possible violations by your employer. Your employer cannot legally fire you for talking to an attorney about your job issues nor can they fire you for joining a lawsuit action; this typically also goes for drivers who have signed a class action waiver before getting hired, as the Nation Labor Relations Board found those to be in violation of your rights. This does NOT mean that your employers attorney's cannot try to kill any actions taken by bringing those up, but that should NOT stop you from taking actions.

I called not knowing if I even had a case at all, Mark was great at helping find out if we had a lawsuit or not. If you feel that you have been retaliated against for joining this and/or any other lawsuit, then please contact the attorney for that lawsuit and let them know. Any type of actions that your employer takes against you for joining a lawsuit and/or starting your own lawsuit can be grounds for a lawsuit.

If you are afraid, don't be. If no one ever speaks up, then these things would never get fixed.

Someone's been educating themselves!! Good on you!

Or was it Mark educating you? Just curious.

I basically had to do all my own education, with the help of Gregster, before I filed my lawsuit. And then I had to educate my attorney(s) (I know what you're thinking of saying Gregster!!)

I'm STILL educating myself on employee legal rights... and damn is it a sometimes painful process.
Don't expect others to fight your Battles
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 11, 2015 11:10 pm
elric92 wrote:Or was it Mark educating you?


gregster wrote:Paul McInnes LLP, Weinhaus & Potashnick



Hmmmm those same names keep coming up here.... :D 8-) ;)

Because they are GOOD people on the side of drivers!
"If you ain't on the road, you ain't makin' money!" - gregster

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