Domino’s facing class action over underpayment claims
Domino’s Pizza Enterprises is facing a class action from in-store staff and delivery drivers who say they were underpaid over a nearly five-year period.
The class action, which was filed in Federal Court on Monday, is being brought by specialist law firm Phi Finney McDonald and is being funded by Therium Litigation Finance.
According to the claim, over the period from at least June 24, 2013 to January 2018, Domino’s told franchisees to pay delivery drivers and in-store workers under a series of incorrect employment agreements, even though they should have been paid under the Fast Food Industry Award 2010.
The agreements did not include certain entitlements – such as 25 per cent loading for casual workers; additional penalty rates for working after-hours, on weekends and on public holidays; and a laundry allowance to assist with uniform cleaning – and most in-store workers and delivery drivers were underpaid as a result.
“It’s nothing short of a disgrace,” said Josh Cullinan, secretary of the
Retail Fast Food Workers’ Union (RAFFWU), which spearheaded an investigation that uncovered the misconduct detailed in the class action.
“The scale of the Domino’s misconduct is unprecedented, and we believe that tens of thousands of workers were never paid for casual loading, penalty rates, travel costs and laundry allowances,” Cullinan said in a statement released on Tuesday.
The class action alleges that workers are owed the difference between what they received and the amount they should have been paid.
“Delivery drivers and fast-food workers are some of the most vulnerable in Australia,” Cullinan said.
“Domino’s CEO Don Meij took home a multi-million dollar pay packet every year, while drivers and store employees never saw a lot of the money they earned. Some workers are owed tens of thousands of dollars.”
Former Domino’s delivery driver Riley Gall is leading the action on behalf of all other affected employees. Having worked for Domino’s franchisees for two years, he said “it’s only fair” the pizza giant pay workers what they are owed.
Domino’s confirmed on Tuesday that it has been served with a statement of claim and said it plans to defend the proceeding.
According to Phi Finney McDonald’s principal lawyer Brett Spiegel, the court will set a case management hearing, after which Domino’s will be ordered to file its defense, which could include a discovery stage.
The firm is urging every person who worked at a Domino’s franchise during the nearly five-year period to register with the class action.
Editor’s note: This story was updated on June 25th at 18:25 AEST to include Domino’s most recent statement on the issue.