Servers, bartenders, and bussers at Buffalo Wild Wings locations in New York have filed a class action lawsuit alleging minimum wage and overtime violations, as well as uniform maintenance violations.
The Complaint filed in Manhattan federal court claims that the restaurants pay the waitstaff a tipped minimum wage even though the workers regularly performed non-tip producing duties while on shift, such as cleaning silverware, restocking supplies, wiping down windows, and cleaning bathrooms. Under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), employers are allowed to take a “tip credit” and pay tipped employees $7.50 per hour, which is below the federal minimum wage of $9.00 per hour. However, the “tip credit” is not available when employees spend more than 20% of their time performing non-tipped work, as is allegedly the case with Buffalo Wild Wings workers.
The lawsuit also states that the restaurants do not pay workers the proper overtime rate for hours worked over forty per week. Furthermore, the waitstaff is allegedly required to wear a specific uniform. Buffalo Wild Wings does not provide laundry services for the employees to clean their uniforms, nor do the workers receive weekly uniform-maintenance pay, as required by New York Labor Law (NYLL).
Attorneys for the workers are seeking payment of unpaid wages, liquidated damages, and attorneys’ fees.