Johnny’s Pizza hit with federal class action pay suit

Graphic from website of Johnny's Pizza.

A collective action lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Georgia in Newnan alleges that Johnny’s Pizza improperly denies its servers federally-mandated minimum wages. Johnny’s Pizza in Fayetteville is not part of the litigation.

Johnny’s Pizza in Fayetteville franchise owner Marty Martino said his location is not involved in the lawsuit and has never participated in the practices mentioned in the litigation.

The lawsuit alleges that Johnny’s Pizza requires servers to share the tips they earn with dishwashers and others who are paid above the federally-mandated $7.25 per hour minimum wage. The lawsuit also claims that Johnny’s Pizza servers are required to perform non-tip producing work, like side-work, more than 20 percent of their day. As a result, the lawsuit contends, Johnny’s Pizza has violated the Fair Labor Standards Act. Ms. (Rebekah) Ricker seeks compensation in the form of back pay for all hours in which she was paid below $7.25. She seeks such a recovery for all servers in Georgia who have worked for Johnny’s Pizza at any time in the last three years, according to Barret, Johnston, Martin and Garrison attorney Daniel Craig.

Speaking of his restaurant in Fayetteville, Martino said, “In the three years we have owned Johnny’s in Fayetteville, we have never participated in the practices mentioned. We pay our servers a base wage well above what most other restaurants pay. The servers make and keep their own tips. The servers, if they so choose, can share their tips with the dish personnel. That is completely up to their discretion and is voluntary. Some do, some choose not to. That is between the server and the dish personnel, we have no say in the matter.”

The lawsuit was brought on behalf of all servers for Johnny’s Pizza in Georgia, said Craig.

“These workers seek nothing more than what they are owed under the law,” said plaintiffs’ counsel David Garrison, of Barrett Johnston Martin & Garrison, LLC. “If Johnny’s Pizza wants to pay its servers an hourly wage lower than the federally-mandated minimum wage, then it must allow them to work like tipped employees and keep the tips they earn, rather than using that money to pay its dishwashers and other kitchen workers.”