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After long court battle over $3 fee, Pagliacci settles $3.75M wage theft lawsuit with drivers

Capitol Hill-headquartered Pagliacci has settled a $3.75 million class action lawsuit brought on behalf of the Seattle pizza chain’s delivery drivers who sued over the company’s wage practices including “failing to pay delivery drivers the automatic ‘delivery charge’ paid by customers” and not passing along tips.

The wage theft settlement was reached earlier this year but announced by the E Pike headquartered chain Wednesday bringing a four-year court battle over the $3 delivery fee to a close.

“Pagliacci has engaged in a systematic scheme of wage and hour abuses against its pizza delivery drivers,” lawyers wrote in the 2017 complaint that kicked off the long legal tussle.

In a statement sent to media, Pagliacci said when the company first added the service charge, “it failed to state in all the places required by state statute precisely who received the money from the delivery fee.”

“Pagliacci added the appropriate clarifications to fully comply with the law after being made aware of the state statute and the company’s technical misunderstanding,” the statement reads. “The lawsuit contained other allegations, but Pagliacci is confident that it was fully compliant with the law on all other charges.”

The original complaint brought by an employee fired by the company also alleged the Pagliacci failed to provide driver’s meal breaks, failed to fully reimburse drivers for auto expenses, and allegedly was deducting credit card processing fees, and deductions for “purported customer complaints” from wages.

The company contends it settled the case “as a more expedient way” to resolve the suit.

The long running court case included summer 2020 proceedings in which the State Supreme Court ruled against Pagliacci’s contention that the dispute was subject to an arbitration agreement.

The settlement means payouts of thousands for some drivers with a few listed in the class receiving $10,000 or more. All drivers employed with Pagliacci between October 2014 and January 26, 2021 were deemed eligible to be part of the class.

In the announcement of the settlement agreement, Pagliacci points out that it is not alone among well known Seattle restaurant businesses getting dinged over wage theft.

“Class-action lawsuits regarding service fees have hit other large restaurant groups in Seattle, including Tom Douglas Seattle Kitchen and chef Josh Henderson, both of whom felt they’d complied with existing law but settled as a more expedient way to resolve things,” the company’s statement reads.

Started in 1979, Pagliacci has grown into a major employer on Capitol Hill and in early 2020 debuted its overhauled headquarters, call center, and new restaurant including a “Center for Excellence” training facility on E Pike. CORRECTION: We incorrectly reported Pagliacci first opened in 1992. That was the first year the chain began delivery. Pagliacci debuted in 1979.


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oliveoyl
oliveoyl
17 days ago

I ate at the Pagliacci on the Ave in the 80’s – and I think it had been open for a few years – maybe since the late 70’s …

Xtian
Xtian
13 days ago
Reply to  oliveoyl

Yes, Paggliacci didn’t start in 1992 Justin!!!

Nope
Nope
17 days ago

You’d like to think they would act better than this. It’s not like the product is low priced. And then fighting it for almost 5 years presumably hoping for attrition to win out,

David
David
17 days ago

This is not the actions of honest employers:

The original complaint brought by an employee fired by the company also alleged the Pagliacci failed to provide driver’s meal breaks, failed to fully reimburse drivers for auto expenses, and allegedly was deducting credit card processing fees, and deductions for “purported customer complaints” from wages.

Deducting credit card processing fees from their tips.essentially,and not paying the drivers a delivery service fee collected from customers……what a scumbag.

Fairly Obvious
Fairly Obvious
16 days ago

<em>In the announcement of the settlement agreement, Pagliacci points out that it is not alone among well known Seattle restaurant businesses getting dinged over wage theft.</em>

So “everybody else” is doing it, but they’re upset because they got caught?

Haven’t eaten their pizza for a while because the quality just isn’t great anymore; this pretty much ensures I’ll never patronize another Pagliaccis.

Sam
Sam
16 days ago

Pagliacci’s – you also owe ME, the customer. I gave your DRIVERS tips not you. Shame on you, and kudos to our justice system.

KinesthesiaAmnesia
KinesthesiaAmnesia
15 days ago

Last time I ordered Pagliacci delivery it went to my neighbors down the road where I had to walk there to pick it up; also it was missing an item and the driver argued about it not being in the original order, even though it was on the receipts. Afterwards, I didn’t get refunded the delivery fee or tip even though I called their customer service and asked about it. They also didn’t refund me the sales tax. So that’s how I know that Pagliacci’s dumb delivery fee that doesn’t really go to the delivery team is now exactly $4.00, not $3.00 anymore.