Pizza Hut delivery drivers say that the bankrupt company’s largest franchisee shortchanged them on payments for using their own vehicles, adding to the list of cases from former employees. NPC International Inc. reimbursed the drivers for miles at such a low rate that they were allegedly underpaid by $4 to $12 per hour. With the claims totaling more than $4,000 each from 80,000 drivers, the total could exceed $320 million. A bankruptcy judge ruled yesterday that their claims must stay on hold for now while NPC’s reorganization proceeds. The dispute concerns the difference between the mileage reimbursement rate of 57.5 cents a mile set by the IRS and the 25 to 35 cents typically paid by NPC. Drivers typically worked 7 hour shifts bearing all the costs of operating their personal vehicles from gasoline to insurance. On top of that, the drivers said, the number of miles they drove was undercounted. They claim top executives were aware of the alleged short-changing and have sought in legal filings to hold them personally liable.
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