Global litigation funding provider Therium Litigation Finance is funding a class action against Domino’s Pizza Enterprises, claiming the Australian pizza giant and its franchises systemically underpaid workers.
Law firm Phi Finney McDonald alleges that most delivery and in-store Domino’s workers were paid less than they should have from June 24, 2013 through January 24, 2018.
“The class action alleges that Domino’s improperly told its Australian franchisees to pay delivery drivers and in-store workers under the inapplicable employment agreements,” Phi Finney McDonald on a website devoted to the class action.
Casual workers weren’t paid a 25 per cent loading bonus and workers didn’t get penalty rates for working after-hours, on weekends or on public hours, Phi Finney McDonald alleges.
The workers also didn’t receive three-hour minimum shifts or laundry allowances.
Phi Finney McDonald says that Domino’s workers are owed the difference between the rates they were paid and the employment agreements.
The Retail and Fast Food Workers’ Union said it discovered that workers were being underpaid after a “detailed forensic investigation”.
“The scale of Domino’s misconduct is unprecedented,” RAFFWU secretary Josh Cullinan said.
“Some workers are owed tens of thousands of dollars. It’s nothing short of a disgrace.”
Domino’s Pizza Enterprises said it had been served with the class action – filed in Federal Court – and that it would defend the proceeding.
Domino’s had already said its view is that workers’ pay and conditions should have been determined by industrial agreements, rather than rates determined by the Fair Work Commission known as the Fast Food Industry Award 2010.
“Domino’s takes the proper payment of its team members seriously. Any formal proceedings received will be reviewed and actioned in the ordinary course,” the company said.
London-based Therium is one of the world’s largest litigation funders, paying for litigation in return for a slice of any successful returns.
It has previously funded class actions against Commonwealth Bank, Spotless Holdings and GetSwift.
At 1149 AEST, Domino’s Pizza Enterprises shares were down 63 cents, or 1.61 per cent, to $38.50.