Restaurants in New York, especially those that provide delivery services, could benefit from a review of their payment practices. Legal complaints from drivers for pizza restaurants have been on the rise because of alleged violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act. Although the law does not directly state how delivery drivers should be compensated, lawsuits generally claim that drivers did not receive pay that equaled minimum wage.
The costs incurred by drivers who use their own vehicles could result in their pay falling below the minimum rate. According to the FLSA, all reimbursements need to factor in the expense of using a personal vehicle for an employer's purposes.
To prevent potential legal problems, restaurant owners and managers should evaluate their pay practices to see if they comply with the FLSA. The classification of workers should be considered carefully, and employers should communicate job duties and compensation clearly. Timekeeping methods represent another potential source of disputes, and employers could work to ensure that hours and mileage are calculated accurately. A GPS system connected to a point-of-sale system could provide accurate information about delivery activities. Careful record keeping could also prepare a company to weather an audit by the U.S. Department of Labor.
A business owner who requires a detailed evaluation of payment practices could ask an attorney to check for compliance. This effort might prevent a violation before it occurs. An attorney could research how wage and hour laws apply to the specific business and then offer advice on how to maintain compliance. If a complaint seeking back pay has already happened, then an attorney could represent the employer during dealings with regulators or in court.