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Bellefonte Domino’s workers share case settlement

WILLIAMSPORT — Seven current or former employees of a Domino’s Pizza franchise in Bellefonte will share $34,300 if a judge approves the settlement of their suit against the business and its owner.

U.S. Middle District Judge Matthew W. Brann Friday was asked to approve the settlement that would resolve the suit against Port Pizza and its owner Sheldon Port, who lives in Missouri.

Court documents state Port owns approximately 10 Domino’s locations in Pennsylvania but the seven worked at the Bellefonte location.

The wage payment action brought under the Fair Labor Standards Act accused Port of illegally taking money from the tip jar in the restaurant, not reimbursing delivery drivers for out-of-pocket expenses and failing to properly post employment rights notices.

Port denied the allegations and settled the suit without the admission of any liability.

He also claims all minimum wage requirements were being satisfied, noting the seven were paid at or above that rate without using any tip credit.

He further points out drivers are provided a small payment for each delivery made.

The suit was filed a year ago by Robert Gee, Dylan Grubb and Darl Hoffman who will receive $10,450, $1,501 and $4,125, respectively.

They alleged in regards to the tip jar that:

— Money was taken from it as needed to balance the cash drawer if it was short at the end of the night.

— Any money left over would be put in the safe and not distributed to the employees.

— Management would keep a portion of the tips on rare occasions when they were distributed.

— During training, management staff said distribution of tips was discretionary and employees were not entitled to them.

Drivers who opted in later and the amounts they stand to receive are Eric Rittenhouse, $8,818; Robert Struble, $4,431; Deven Traxler, $871 and Megan Traxler, $3,129.

Another opt-in, Skylar Cressman, who worked in the restaurant, will receive $1,000. The amounts to be paid are based on the number of hours worked.

Port and his business also agree to pay the plaintiffs’ attorney fee of $14,170.

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