SEATTLE (AP) — Seattle-based pizza chain Zeeks will pay delivery drivers about $409,000 after it allegedly failed to disclose how much of its delivery fees were paid to drivers.
The settlement was announced Wednesday by The Seattle Times reported. In 2019, the company agreed to pay about $285,000 to 257 drivers for the same problem.
Service charges are common in Seattle restaurants, with some paying employees in lieu of tips and others being retained by the employer.
Tolls are allowed, but restaurants and other businesses are required to show on menus and receipts what percentage of the toll is paid directly to employees serving customers. If the company does not make it clear that it is keeping the part, the fee must be paid to the customer service staff.
Without disclosure, customers might assume that service charges go to employees and less tips.
Seattle’s Office of Labor Standards alleged that from 2019 to 2021, Zeeks failed to disclose how much delivery fees were paid to drivers. The pizza chain agreed to pay about $409,000 to 224 current and former drivers.
Office of Labor Standards Director Stephen Marchese said in a statement that the failure to disclose information about where service fees go “is a widespread problem in Seattle that needs to be addressed and resolved.”
Zeeks founders Doug McClure and Tom Viall said in a statement that they “believe we followed the law in good faith” and that drivers did not receive lower tips “on average.”
“Any technical disruptions were temporary, minor, and caused by the former software vendor, not Zeeks employees,” they said.
Founded in 1993, Zeeks has two dozen locations across the state.
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