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.
THANKS! WE DID IT! 1,000 CHS SUBSCRIBERS -- We asked, you answered. Thanks for stepping up!
Support local journalism dedicated to your neighborhood. SUBSCRIBE HERE. Join to become a subscriber at $1/$5/$10 a month to help CHS provide community news with NO PAYWALL. You can also sign up for a one-time annual payment.