We all love pizza, right? Whether it’s Pizza Pizza, Goodfella’s, or a good old boxed Dellisio. Pizza Nova falls into that category as well, in spite of its blood-boiling radio jingle. Sadly, this story isn’t about delicious pizza as the headline suggests, it’s actually about Pizza Nova’s delivery drivers being incredibly undercompensated.
In a story that broke last week, Pizza Nova is now facing a multimillion-dollar class action lawsuit for misclassifying its delivery drivers as independent contractors and not franchise employees, and therefore paying them less than minimum wage. And this happened, despite the driver’s being made to wear the Pizza Nova uniform, adhere to store-regulated schedules, and even perform duties in stores.
This was the case at 140 of Pizza Nova’s locations across Ontario, and the misclassifcation denied the workers appropriate compensation and protection plans. The lawsuit was filed in March of 2020 and seeks $150 million in damages for the hundreds of delivery drivers, dating back to 2012.
The representative plaintiff of the lawsuit, Juan Jose Lira Cervantes, gave this statement: “I’ve spent years of my life working as a pizza delivery driver and experiencing the problems of employment misclassification in the industry first-hand.”
Cervantes faced a similar issue when he worked for Dominoes, and won $25,000 in compensation for his personal misclassifcation in 2019. And that is what made his step forward and “fight against employment misclassification and to improve working conditions for the pizza delivery driver in an industry that treats them poorly.”
Pizza Nova’s President Domenic Primucci has denied the allegations put forth by the lawsuit, and said his company is currently prioritizing the health and compensation for its employees during the COVID-19 epidemic.
Primucci attempted to wash the company’s hands of the ordeal, by saying “Pizza Nova is the franchisor of ‘Pizza Nova’ businesses, each of which is independently owned and operated.” Therefore shifting the blame to the store managers, but when 140 of your nationwide stores are doing the same thing that seems rather coincidental. And regardless of the franchise model, Pizza Nova stores must follow company-wide guidelines, meaning the brand is indeed liable should the court find them so.