Domino’s Pizza franchise hasn’t delivered on order to pay former driver
CBC talks to Josh Mandryk and Simon Archer about Domino’s Pizza wage theft
CBC spoke to Josh Mandryk and Simon Archer in a report on the case of Juan Jose Lira Cervantes, who worked as a Domino’s Pizza delivery driver. Cervantes complained to the Ministry of Labour that he was being treated as an independent contractor, when he should have been treated as an employee entitled to minimum wage and benefits under the Employment Standards Act. Then, after he filed the complaint, he was fired.
The Ministry agreed that legally Cervantes was an employee who was entitled to be paid minimum wage. It ordered the Domino’s franchise to pay him over $25,000 in lost wages and benefits. The board of directors of the Domino’s franchise paid him just over $6,000 of the money owed, but then dissolved the corporation. Cervantes may never see the rest of the money he is owed.
CBC spoke to Josh and Simon about the loophole that this Domino’s franchise appears to have used to its advantage:
“By the beginning of January 2019, the corporation is dissolved and that is really the core of the problem of collection right now,” said Joshua Mandryk, a labour lawyer with Goldblatt Partners, a firm working to help Cervantes get his money.
Meanwhile, the Mississauga Domino’s pizza franchise where Cervantes worked is still making pies with a new company running it.
“The business continues. From what we understand, you can go to that location right now and order a pizza but, unfortunately, the Ministry of Finance can’t collect the money,” said Mandryk.
Simon Archer, also with Goldblatt Partners, said that while they still don’t have specific details about who bought the franchise or the specific terms of the purchase, it appears as if the dissolution was to avoid paying Cervantes.
“It looks suspiciously like it changed hands to avoid paying this liability. We believe that it happens fairly commonly in these situations in order to avoid these awards,” said Archer.
Mandryk and Archer said Cervantes’ case highlights an enforcement loophole that needs to be closed.
“When employees like him do have the courage to step forward and fight against their employer and ultimately win, it’s a bit of a hollow victory when there’s challenges with enforcement at the Ministry of Finance,” said Mandryk.
“[Cervantes’s] situation from start to finish has exposed multiple problems and flaws in the ways we treat working people in this province and I think it’s important that they’re addressed.”
Watch the CBC story with Farrah Merali here: