New Pizza Hut lawsuit against Ronak Food LLC, Pennsylvania

User avatar
Master Driver
Posts: 6999
Joined: Sun Oct 18, 2009 10:40 pm
Location: Chesapeake, VA
Where do you work?:
Papa John's franchise
User Type:
Pizza Delivery Driver
Car you drive:
2010 Ford Fusion
PostPosted: Wed Apr 22, 2015 8:04 pm
2 former delivery drivers, 1 from Reading, suing company that runs over 50 area Pizza Huts

http://readingeagle.com/news/article/2- ... pizza-huts

Thursday April 16, 2015 12:01 AM
By Anthony Orozco and Stephanie Weaver

Two delivery drivers - one of them from Reading - are leading the charge in a lawsuit against the owner of more than 50 area Pizza Hut franchises, alleging they aren't earning the minimum wage.

Drivers Michael Pickett of Reading and David Johnson of Philadelphia filed the lawsuit with the help of three Missouri law firms against Ronak Food LLC, based in Bucks County. Ronak Food owns 55 Pizza Hut locations, including restaurants in Morgantown, Shillington, and Muhlenberg and Tilden townships.

The lawsuit claims Ronak was not properly reimbursing drivers for using their personal vehicles to make deliveries, and therefore was paying its drivers less than the state minimum wage.

When reached by phone Wednesday, Jay Pandya, a managing member of Ronak Food, said all of the delivery drivers are paid more than minimum wage, receive a per-delivery reimbursement and receive tips from customers.

"We believe this lawsuit is bogus," Pandya said. "There's no merit to this lawsuit and every one of our drivers makes between $10 and $15 an hour."

According to the local lawsuit, Pickett and Johnson were paid $7.25 and $7.35 an hour, respectively, during their tenures as drivers. The men were given a per-delivery reimbursement instead of a mileage reimbursement for using their personal vehicles.

Pickett earned $1 per delivery and Johnson 90 cents. The lawsuit contends that an average delivery involved 5 miles of driving, making the mileage reimbursement much lower than the IRS rate of 55.5-56.5 cents at the time the men were employed. That rate now is 57.5 cents.

The lawsuit claims that when the math is worked out, the net wages for the men would be closer to $3.55 to $5 an hour, which violates the minimum-wage statute and gives the franchise owner a "kickback" of a few dollars an hour.

The lawsuit did not mention tips or factor them into the equation for net wages. Pandya said that's a major omission, since federal law considers tips to be part of an employee's wage.

The lawsuit was originally filed in November in Philadelphia County Court. An amended complaint was filed March 20.

Mark A. Potashnick, a St. Louis attorney involved in the suit, said the per-delivery reimbursement gives chain owners a bigger margin at the expense of its workers.

"People wouldn't believe how frequently pizza drivers don't make minimum wage," Potashnick said. "Pizza places usually pay right at or above the minimum wage but then there are costs associated with making deliveries."

Potashnick, who has specialized in food-industry wage cases, said companies have two options for reimbursing employees.

Restaurants can choose to actually track every delivery, which is fairly intensive, or they can set an average delivery mileage and reimburse the driver at the IRS rate of 57.5 cents, Potashnick said.

Potashnick said he has spoken with more than 20 drivers who have worked for Ronak Food and found that the lack of sufficient reimbursements leaves many unable to make the state's minimum wage of $7.25 an hour.

It is also federal law for employers of workers who rely on tips to make up the difference if workers don't earn an amount equal to the minimum wage per hour, he said.

The plaintiffs are requesting the case go before a jury and that the drivers receive reimbursement for 25 percent or more of their total wages or $500 per payday plus other damages and costs.

While only two drivers were listed in the lawsuit, the lawyers representing them are hoping to obtain class- and collective-action status for the case so other drivers who work or worked for Ronak in the last three years can opt-in.

A release prepared by the law firms said similar suits are pending against the corporate Pizza Hut stores owned by YUM Brands and other franchisees of Pizza Hut, with about 6,000 Pizza Hut delivery drivers joining that case.

Contact Stephanie Weaver: 610-371-5042 or sweaver@readingeagle.com.


For information or to join the lawsuit:

Contact:
Jack McInnes
Paul McInnes LLP
855-984-8100 (toll free)
mcinnes@paulmcinnes.com

Mark Potashnick
Weinhaus & Potashnick
314-997-9150 ext. 2
markp@wp-attorneys.com
"If you ain't on the road, you ain't makin' money!" - gregster

Image

Master Driver
Posts: 2615
Joined: Tue Apr 24, 2012 4:38 pm
Location: Wa
Where do you work?:
Formally employed by a Papa Johns Franchise in Washington state.
User Type:
Pizza Delivery Driver
Car you drive:
One with an internal combustion engine
PostPosted: Thu Apr 23, 2015 12:16 am
"We believe this lawsuit is bogus," Pandya said. "There's no merit to this lawsuit and every one of our drivers makes between $10 and $15 an hour."

Someone doesn't understand how the law works.

The lawsuit did not mention tips or factor them into the equation for net wages. Pandya said that's a major omission, since federal law considers tips to be part of an employee's wage.

Yep... that's a manager talking without understanding how math and the law works.

The plaintiffs are requesting the case go before a jury and that the drivers receive reimbursement for 25 percent or more of their total wages or $500 per payday plus other damages and costs.

Uhmmm... what?
Don't expect others to fight your Battles

Return to Lawsuits against Domino's, Pizza Hut, and Papa John's

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest

cron