Written by: Sam Orlando
ROANOKE, VIRGINIA - A class-action lawsuit has been filed in the Western District of Virginia against New River Valley Pizza, LLC, a Domino’s Pizza franchise, and its CEO Kevin Shaw. The lawsuit, led by plaintiff Rachele Paris on behalf of herself and similarly situated delivery drivers, alleges systematic underpayment and failure to reimburse for job-related expenses, violating federal and Virginia wage laws.
Plaintiff's Experience and Allegations
Rachele Paris, who has been a delivery driver at the franchise since February 2021, claims she was paid less than the minimum wage due to inadequate reimbursement for the use of her personal vehicle for deliveries. According to the lawsuit, Paris was paid $5.25 per hour for on-road work and reimbursed only 42 cents per mile, significantly less than the IRS standard mileage rate. The complaint details that Paris, like other drivers, was required to cover expenses such as gasoline, vehicle maintenance, insurance, and depreciation without adequate compensation from the employer.
Systemic Underpayment Claims
The lawsuit extends beyond Paris's individual experience, alleging a widespread pattern of wage violations affecting delivery drivers across at least seventeen Domino’s Pizza restaurants in Southwest Virginia. The complaint accuses New River Valley Pizza, LLC, of not tracking actual expenses incurred by the drivers and failing to reimburse them at the IRS standard business mileage rate. This alleged practice has reportedly resulted in drivers effectively receiving less than the minimum wage.
Legal Grounds and Demands
The legal action is grounded in claims of violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), the Virginia Minimum Wage Act (VMWA), the Virginia Wage Payment Act (VWPA), and unjust enrichment under Virginia laws. Paris and the collective seek monetary, declaratory, and equitable relief for these alleged violations.
This lawsuit highlights ongoing issues surrounding fair compensation in the fast-food industry, especially for workers who shoulder additional job-related expenses. As the case proceeds, it could potentially influence how delivery drivers are compensated nationwide, especially those working for franchise-operated businesses.
The court will examine allegations of underpayment, failure to reimburse delivery-related expenses, and unjust enrichment. The outcome of this case may set a precedent for employment practices within the fast-food franchise industry.
This lawsuit underscores the importance of fair wage practices and the need for employers to adequately compensate their employees for all job-related expenses. The case's progress will be closely monitored for its potential impact on employment laws and practices.
Stay tuned to our coverage for continuous updates on this developing story, by subscribing to Breaking Through News on the newsbreak app, or on our website at breakingthrough.com.