Sous chefs at P.F. Chang’s have filed a nationwide lawsuit for overtime pay violations.
P.F. Chang’s, the upscale Chinese restaurant chain with over 200 locations across the United States, has been hit with a nationwide class action filed in Connecticut federal court. Two of its sous chefs, Amilcar Huyhua and Patrick Stancil, in its Stamford, Connecticut location, allege that although they worked on average 55-60 hours and 60-75 hours per week, respectively, these overtime hours were never reflected in their pay.
The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) provides that employees are entitled to one and one-half times their hourly rate for every hour they work over 40 a week. According to the lawsuit, P.F. Chang’s has had a policy to designate sous chefs a salary and exempt them from the FLSA, based on the “executive exemption.” This is despite the fact that Huyua’s and Stancil’s roles never included managerial responsibilities at any point. The sous chefs did not direct the work of employees nor did they make employee schedules. Rather their time at work was spent solely on cooking the orders from the restaurant’s over 60 dish menu for 400-600 people every day.
Attorneys for the sous chefs are seeking unpaid minimum wage and overtime pay, as well as unpaid vacation time and liquidated damages under the FLSA and Connecticut Labor Law.