A nationwide wage theft class action against T.G.I. Friday’s has been given a green light by a New York Federal Judge. In a decision yesterday by U.S. District Court Judge Analisa Torres, conditional collective certification was granted to servers, bartenders, bussers, runners, and hosts who have worked at T.G.I. Friday’s locations at any time from April 2011 to the present.
The lawsuit claims that restaurant managers forced the employees to work off the clock and they were not paid for this time. The workers also alleged the restaurant chain improperly applied a tip credit toward their wages without properly notifying them of the Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”) tip credit provisions. Other alleged violations of the FLSA tip provisions include a mandatory tip-pooling scheme in which the workers were required to share their tips with non-tipped employees like expeditors and silverware rollers. According to the workers’ attorneys, tipped employees were also required to spend a substantial amount of time performing non-tipped side work and did not receive overtime pay for hours worked over forty.
T.G.I. Friday’s operates 920 restaurants in 60 countries and employs more than 175,000 people worldwide. Over 40,000 tipped employees at T.G.I. Fridays could be eligible to participate in this lawsuit.