Food delivery has become a big business in Massachusetts. Even the smallest towns that only have one pizza parlor usually have a driver that sends that food out to customers. Driving as a food delivery employee definitely has its benefits. You are not micromanaged and in some cases, you may even be able to choose your own hours. You should also be able to make an honest living. Unfortunately, this does not always happen.
Employers sometimes steal the wages of delivery drivers, including the tips they earn. This is against the law, and employers should be held liable for it. That can only happen though, when employees recognize that it is happening. Below are just a few ways in which employers steal the wages of delivery drivers.
Illegal Mileage Reimbursement
As of 2022, the IRS requires all employers in the country to reimburse their employees with at least 58.5 cents for every mile driven as part of their job. Employers cannot count tips towards this reimbursement, as those are meant to go towards the employee and are not intended as a fuel replacement. When drivers make several deliveries in one shift and are not receiving the legal mileage reimbursement, those costs can really start to add up. Drivers can file a claim for the mileage reimbursement they have missed.
Tip sharing is against the law in Massachusetts. Any time an employee is tipped, the tip is considered the sole ownership of the employee. Employers cannot take a portion of their employee’s tips nor can they force them to share tips with others, including other staff in the restaurant. Some employees do this by stating that they have to take a portion of a tip on a credit card for processing costs. This is against the law.
Working Different Positions During the Same Shift
Another way that employees steal the wages of delivery drivers is by forcing them to work different positions during one shift and not paying them appropriately. For example, an employer may force their delivery driver to work in the kitchen for half of their shift and make deliveries for the other half. Delivery drivers often receive tips, while kitchen workers do not. If the employer paid the delivery driver the legal minimum wage of $6.15 for tipped employees for the entire shift, that is also illegal. The driver should have received the legal minimum wage of $14.25 for non-tipped employees for their time spent in the kitchen working.
Our Employment Lawyers in Springfield Can Help You File a Claim Against Your Employer
Wage theft is more common than many people think in Massachusetts, and delivery drivers are at particular risk. If you believe your employer has not paid you proper wages, our Springfield employment lawyers at Hayber, McKenna & Dinsmore, LLC can help. We are dedicated to helping employees recover the wages they have rightfully earned, and we want to help you, too. Call us today at (413) 785-1400 or contact us online to obtain the legal help you need.