3OYS: Florist reportedly fails to deliver drivers' checks

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By Tami Hoey By Tami Hoey

GLENDALE, Ariz -- Several delivery drivers for a Glendale floral company say they're not being paid for work they did on Valentine's Day. So they asked 3OYS to step in.

But when Gary Harper went to Expressions Floral and Gifts, the owner immediately closed and locked the door on him.

The situation affected Valley residents like Jim Federman, who was unemployed and turned to Craigslist to find work. The job he found was delivering flowers for Expressions Floral & Gifts.

At first, it seemed like a sweetheart deal because the business claimed it needed delivery drivers for Valentine’s Day. Jim added: "There was no paperwork; no contract. It was all verbal."

Jim says he was hired on the spot, and he used his 1999 Lincoln town car to make those deliveries. "The first few days, I started at six in the morning and ran most of the day until evening time," he says.

Jim says he was supposed to be paid $10 per delivery, so his earnings were adding up quickly. "I have the delivery sheets off the floral arrangements, the delivery tag with the customer’s name and phone numbers and so forth. I actually have pictures of some of the deliveries that were made." 

Jim said he was supposed to have made $840. He says he needs that money, because his car used a lot of gas."I wound up putting out a couple hundred dollars, at least, in fuel costs, just to get that done."

But Jim and nearly a dozen drivers are upset with the woman who runs the Expressions Floral & Gifts, Susan D'orta. Drivers say they were told they were going to be paid just days after Valentine's Day, but that day came and went and they haven't seen a dime.

"I’ve continuously tried to contact her and the short responses that I’ve gotten or no responses that I’ve gotten, the excuses that she's made not only to myself but all the other people involved," Jim says.

Several drivers have now filed unpaid wage claims with the Arizona Labor Department. So, after 3 On Your Side was contacted, Gary decided to see why Jim and others haven't been paid. D'Orta closed and locked the door. and then yelled she didn't want to be on TV.

"I know you don't want to be on TV, but what about all the people you owe money to?" Gary asked. Her response? Susan D'Orta says they were problem employees and claims she never told them she would pay them within just a few days of Valentine's Day. But Jim and others are angry. Not only have they filed reports with the police department, but they hope the Labor Department will do something.

"There needs to be some resolution and you know people shouldn't be allowed to do this to other people," says Jim.

D'Orta claims payroll takes up to two weeks, and says she has mailed all the money to the Labor Department. As of March 5, the Labor Department said it had not received that money. Gary and 3 On Your Side will follow up on this story in the near future.