Domino's accused of underpaying staff for weekend and after-hours work for 4.5 years in class action lawsuit

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  • Domino’s is facing a class action lawsuit that alleges it instructed some of its franchises to systematically underpay its workers.
  • The claims of worker underpayment contrast strongly with the compensation of its exeucitve staff, with CEO Don Meij ranking as one of the country’s highest paid, making more than $36.8 million in 2017.
  • This new class action see Domino’s become the latest franchise in Australia to face allegations of misconduct, with Caltex, 7-Eleven, Retail Food Group and competitor Pizza Hut all facing scrutiny in recent years.
  • That growing list saw a parlimentary inquiry recommend a total overhaul of the franching system earlier this year.

It’s not unusual for customers to want a slice out of Domino’s, but in a new lawsuit against the pizza chain, it’s employees that want a crust.

Law firm Phil Finney McDonald this week launched a class action against the company, alleging widespread underpayment of both in-store workers as well as delivery drivers across its Australian stores for the four and a half years preceding 2018.

“Until 24 January 2018, Domino’s instructed most of its Australian franchisees to pay delivery drivers and in-store workers under the wrong employment agreements,” Phil Finney McDonald alleges on a website dedicated to the class action.

As such, employees found themselves under a series of employment agreements that did not pay certain entitlements.

Those entitlements include penalty rates for weekend, public holiday and after-hours work, 25% loading for casual workers, as well as laundry allowances, the law firm alleges.

“If delivery drivers and in-store workers had been properly paid under the Fast Food Industry Award, they would have received these entitlements,” Phil Finney McDonald said.

Phil Finney McDonald is now demanding workers be paid the difference.

In a statement issued to Business Insider Australia, Domino’s said it would defend itself against the proceeding.

One Domino’s employee who isn’t complaining about remuneration assumedly is CEO Don Meij, who ranks as one of the highest paid CEO in the country, raking in more than $36.8 million in 2017.

The class-action sees Domino’s join a growing list of Australian franchises facing allegations of misconduct in recent years, including direct competitor Pizza Hut.

It was alleged in 2015 that 60% of 7-Eleven franchises were underpaying staff, followed by subsequent allegations that it tried to intimidate the inquiry that followed.

Meanwhile, in 2018 the Fair Work Ombudsman found three-quarters of Caltex franchises had ripped-off workers, while Retail Food Group has also faced intense pressure after it came under fire for allegedly exploiting its franchisees.

Such cases prompted a parliamentary joint committee to investigate franchising in Australia.

Its finding was damning, recommending a complete overhaul of the current system.

“The current inquiry has identified … systematic exploitation of some franchisees by a subset of franchisors and a regulatory framework that does not provide adequate protection against such practices,” the inquiry concluded in a statement.

These latest claims of misconduct will only strengthen the call for action.

Are you a Domino’s employee that has been affected? Email Business Insider’s senior reporter Jack Derwin.

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