Pizza delivery driver claims to get slice of injustice

Ticketed $225 for improper driver's license

BLUE SPRINGS, Mo. -- Mike Deering has been a part-time delivery driver for a Papa John's Pizza in Blue Springs for about a year and a half.

In July, while on the clock, a Blue Springs Police officer pulled Deering over for speeding and not coming to a complete stop at a stop sign.

He also received a ticket for operating a vehicle in violation of registration, meaning Deering didn't have the proper driver's license.

When the 41 Action News Investigators asked Deering if he was surprised about the driver's license ticket, he said, "Absolutely, I had no idea at all."

Deering said the officer told him he had to have a Class E Missouri driver's license, also known as a chauffeur's license, to deliver pizza.

He received a fine for $225 for not having the classification and was told every time he was pulled over while delivering pizza without one, it would be another $225.

When the 41 Action News Investigators asked Deering how long it takes him to earn $225 delivering pizzas part time, he said, "I actually looked this up and it will take me a full week."

Deering said when he was hired, no one at Papa John's ever told him he needed a Class E driver's license.

He said he asked management for help with his ticket, and after more than a month of waiting for an answer, metro Papa John's executive Daniel Wills said no.

"He told me that if he paid my ticket, he would be paying everybody else's ticket," Deering said.

The 41 Action News Investigators asked the store manager where Deering works if drivers are told they need a commercial driver's license.

"You can't be in here, you have to leave," she responded.

We also tried to ask Wills about it in the parking lot when he came to the store after hearing the 41 Action News Investigators were there.

He walked right by without answering or saying a word.

While neither Wills or the store manager would talk to the 41 Action News Investigators, company spokesman Peter Collins issued a statement claiming all Missouri Papa John's drivers are asked to sign an application which states the extra licensing requirement is the responsibility of the driver.

“In Missouri drivers who use their vehicles for a job are required to have an additional endorsement on their driver’s license. Upon employment with Papa John’s, team members are advised that the delivery driver’s insurance is primary and asked to sign an application that states that the additional endorsement required by law in Missouri is the responsibility of the driver," the statement read.

 

The 41 Action News Investigators asked Collins to provide a copy of that application, but he never did.

The 41 Action News Investigators also spoke to Logan Wood, another delivery driver who works at the same Papa John's store as Deering.

When we asked Wood if anyone told him he needed a Class E chauffeur's license to deliver pizza, he said, "Originally when I started, I wasn't made aware of it no."

Wood also said none of the new drivers in the high turnover job are being told they need a Class E license.

"They probably shouldn't let you be a driver unless you have it," he said.

Both Wood and Deering believe there's a good reason why Papa John's doesn't tell new driver applicants about the need for a Class E license.

New drivers are already required to buy a $30 food handler's license with their own money.

It's an additional $30 to get a Class E driver's license.

"You're not going to pay $60 up front and say hey, to take a test at the sheriff's department and come work for us. Most people aren't going to do that," Deering said.

"Not really worth it to pay the $60 in the beginning," Wood said.

Deering did get his Class E license after getting his ticket.

He's challenging the ticket in court in November.

If found guilty, all of Deering's citations he received that night could cost him up to $750.

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