Zeeks Pizza to pay nearly $410K to current, former employees in wage theft settlement

SEATTLE — Seattle-area pizza chain Zeeks Pizza has agreed to pay nearly $410,000 to 224 current and former employees after reaching a settlement with the Seattle Office of Labor Standards for repeat violations of the city’s wage theft ordinance.

OLS alleged that Zeeks failed to disclose what percentage of a service fee charged to its customers went directly to its employees between Jan. 2019 and Jan. 2022.

Washington state law requires that if any portion of a service charge is not clearly designated as being retained by an employer, it must be paid to the employees serving the customer.

“It’s disheartening to deliver food and not know whether a tip is low because the customer chose that amount or because they thought the delivery fee goes to you,” said a Zeeks employee in an OLS news release. “So, getting these delivery fees back plus damages feels great. This money will make a big difference in our lives.”

Zeeks has now agreed to pay a total of $409,226.80 to 224 current and former employees.

Tom Vial and Doug McClure, the founders of Zeeks Pizza, allege that the violations were “temporary, immaterial and were caused by a former software vendor, not by Zeeks employees.”

“Zeeks stands with our drivers. We agree with OLS’s mission and have a history of cooperation with the office,” said Vial and McClure in a statement. “We pay our drivers well and fairly and believe we complied with the statute in good faith. … Importantly, nothing that happened caused our drivers, on average, to receive fewer or smaller tips from our customers.”

Zeeks Pizza previously reached a settlement with OLS for similar allegations in April 2019, agreeing to pay a total financial remedy of $285,150.85 to 257 current and former delivery drivers.