Delivery driver wants Domino's to pay up after years of making less than minimum wage

May 15, 2018

A father of six has filed a claim against a Domino's Pizza franchise alleging he spent more than four years working for the company earning below minimum wage when he should have been entitled to the wages and benefits of an employee.

Juan Jose Lira Cervantes — who is seeking back pay — also alleges he was taken off the schedule after he filed a claim with Ontario's Ministry of Labour. 

"I felt really bad. I didn't expect that after four years and four months. I was just trying to do something right, not only for me, but for my family," said Cervantes, who lives in Mississauga, Ont.

The 50-year-old said he began working as an independent contractor at the chain in November 2013. He drove his own car for deliveries, was not guaranteed set hours and this year was making $8 an hour plus tips.

Cervantes said he delivered pizzas for the franchise on Glen Erin Drive and worked in the kitchen, taking pizzas out of the oven, doing prep work and washing dishes.

In January, when the minimum wage rose to $14 an hour in Ontario, Cervantes said he began researching labour rules and believed his work fell under the category of an employee, a title that would allow him to be paid minimum wage. He said he approached the owner of the franchise in February, but was told he was classified as an independent contractor, which allows companies to pay a lesser wage.

Under Ontario's labour law, independent contractors are not entitled to minimum wage. They don't have the same protections as an employee and are not entitled to overtime or vacation pay. They also use their own tools and dictate their hours and clients. In contrast, employees are entitled to minimum wage, overtime and vacation pay but are told when and how to do their work.

Cervantes then filed a Ministry of Labour claim arguing he was misclassified from the outset as an independent contractor and that he should have been an employee all along. Cervantes wants the ministry to assess whether or not he's owed back pay for four years, during which he was paid far less than minimum wage.

Cervantes's claim was filed on March 9. More than a month later, he said he was taken off the franchise's work schedule.

"That was a low point … I kept thinking to myself that's not right."

Read more: Delivery driver wants Domino's to pay up after years of making less than minimum wage