Pizza Hut to pay $2M settlement in unpaid wages, vehicle use compensation case

Pizza Hut will pay $2 million to settle a class action lawsuit for not paying their delivery drivers enough to make the minimum wage requirement in the state of Wisconsin.

Former Pizza Hut delivery driver Wayne Meetz filed the lawsuit in November of 2016 alleging that the pizza chain did not pay him or other drivers in Wisconsin adequately to minimum wage requirements or to compensate for the use of personal vehicles while making deliveries.

Since Sept. 30, 2012, Pizza Hut has owned and operated numerous restaurants throughout the state, including 73 at the time the complaint was filed.

According to the complaint, Meetz worked as a delivery driver at the Pizza Hut restaurant on Oneida Street in Appleton, starting as early as Sept. 30, 2013.

Meetz alleged he and other delivery drivers were paid at either sub-minimum wage rates or near minimum wage rates while working for the company.

Those drivers were responsible for using their personal vehicles to deliver pizzas. Those vehicles were required to be safe, comply with state operation laws and be insured. Drivers also had to pay for gas, car parts, repairs, routine maintenance and insurance.

Meetz said he was paid less than the state’s required $7.25 per hour minimum wage rate and that he specifically was paid an hourly rate of $5.25 per hour while working as a Pizza Hut delivery driver.

While Pizza Hut claimed a tip credit accounts for the difference between wages for delivery drivers and the minimum wage requirements. Meetz claimed in the complaint Pizza Hut did not collect tip declarations from him or other employees while he was working there.

In the complaint, Meetz also stated that while he was reimbursed at a flat-rate per delivery of $1, the flat-rate reimbursement was not a reasonable payment in comparison with the actual expenses delivery drivers were incurring while performing their jobs.

While Pizza Hut has not admitted fault in any of the claims made by Meetz, the company has agreed to settle the lawsuit with a $2 million payment.

That payment will be dispersed over a period of time from December 1, 2018, to June 1, 2020, and will compensate Meetz for unpaid wages, personal vehicle use while working and any legal fees related to the filing and settling of the lawsuit. The money will also go toward the other delivery drivers in the same class subject to unpaid wages and personal vehicle use and fees.

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