Miller’s Ale House locations in Suffolk, Nassau, Queens, and Staten Island, have been sued by former servers in a class action lawsuit for unpaid minimum wages and unpaid spread-of-hours pay. The wage theft lawsuit also claims that Miller’s Ale House improperly applied a tip credit, where servers were required to perform regular non-tipped work for more than twenty percent of their workday in violation of the Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”) and the New York Labor Law (“NYLL”).
According to the lawsuit, the waiters and waitresses were required to complete non-tipped “side work” at the beginning of their shift. This “side work” took at least one and a half hours to complete. The non-tipped “side work” included, but was not limited to, making dressings, cleaning and setting tables, dusting ceiling fans, preparing food, preparing and cleaning soda machines. Even though servers’ responsibilities included non-tipped work at the beginning and end of their shifts for more than an hour and a half, Miller’s still claimed a tip credit. Therefore, the servers were being paid at hourly rates below the standard minimum wage at $5.00 per hour. Under the NYLL, the servers were also owed “spread-of-hours” pay for worked shifts that spread over ten or more hours in a single day.
The attorneys for the restaurant workers are seeking to recover unpaid minimum wages owed to the waiters and waitresses for improperly claiming a tip credit towards their obligation to pay the statutory minimum wage rate under the FLSA and NYLL, as well as, unpaid spread-of- hours pay under the NYLL.