Bayou City Wings, a Houston-based restaurant chain, has unlawfully engaged in a pattern or practice of intentional age discrimination in its hiring of host and wait staff, according to a lawsuit filed by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC).
EEOC’s lawsuit said that since at least 2008, Bayou City Wings has been discriminating against a class of applicants for “front of house” positions, such as food servers and hosts, by failing to hire them because of their age (40 years and older). According to EEOC’s lawsuit, Bayou City Wings’ upper management instructed other managers not to recruit and hire older job seekers and disciplined and terminated a manager who refused to comply. The agency also charged that since at least 2008 to about November 2013, the company failed to preserve employment records, including the job applications of unsuccessful applicants, in violation of federal law.
Age discrimination, as well as the failure to preserve proper job application records, violates the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA).
EEOC filed the lawsuit (Civil Action No. 4:16-cv-03245) in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas (Houston Division), after first attempting to reach a pre-litigation settlement through its conciliation process. EEOC seeks, among other things, monetary relief for applicants denied employment because of their age; the adoption of policies and procedures to remedy and prevent age discrimination; and training on discrimination for all Bayou City Wings managers and human resources staff.
“Sadly, age discrimination continues to be an employment barrier for many Americans,” said Rayford O. Irvin, district director of EEOC’s Houston office. “Denying jobs to qualified applicants who are over 40 because of their age is unlawful, yet older job applicants often do not know they are victims of this unlawful discrimination.”
The tip splitting policy of Starbucks coffee shops in New York was reviewed by the New York Court of Appeals in a decision that was issued yesterday.
In the Starbucks case, the New York Court of Appeals explained that employer-mandated tip splitting should be limited to employees who, like waiters and busboys, are ordinarily engaged in personal customer service, a rule that comports with the “expectations of the reasonable customer.”
The Court held that “an employee whose personal service to patrons is a principal or regular part of his or her duties may participate in an employer-mandated tip allocation arrangement under Labor Law § 196-d, even if that employee possesses limited supervisory responsibilities. But an employee granted meaningful authority or control over subordinates can no longer be considered similar to waiters and busboys within the meaning of section 196-d and, consequently, is not eligible to participate in a tip pool.”
Attorneys for workers and restaurants should take careful note of this decision as it is the best explanation of the law to date by a court on the important issue of managers participating in a restaurant tip pool.
The Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”), which was signed into law by Franklin Delano Roosevelt on June 25, 1938 outlawed “oppressive child labor,” imposed a federal minimum wage of 25 cents per hour, and required overtime for hours worked over 40 in a week. But the America we live in is far different from that which existed 75 years ago and both employee advocates and company executives have raised serious questions as to how well the FLSA is currently working. Read the full article written Louis Pechman, founder of waiterpay.com, on The Huffington Post.
Assistant Managers at Five Guys have filed a class action alleging that the burger restaurants’ California locations have failed to pay them overtime.
The class action lawsuit was filed in California state court. The lawsuit alleges that the restaurants improperly classified them as exempt employees, and thus failed to pay them overtime as required under California wage laws. Furthermore, lawyers for the employees allege that although the workers were called managers and often worked over 40 hours a week, they had very little authority and spent the majority of their time taking orders, prepping the kitchen, such as cutting lettuce, onions, and potatoes, and checking inventory. The lawsuit seeks back pay for the Assistant Managers who work at the over 80 Five Guys restaurants in California, as well as damages and attorneys’ fees.
An overtime class action lawsuit against Taco Bell Company owned restaurants claims that assistant general managers were unlawfully deprived of overtime in violation of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) and the New York Labor Law.
The lawsuit against Taco Bell was filed on July 30, 2012 in United States District Court for the Southern District of New York. Lawyers for plaintiff Augustine Castillo, who worked at Taco Bell Farmingville and Ronkonkoma New York restaurants, claim that Castillo and other assistant managers should have been paid overtime for work preformed in excess of 40 hours per week. The lawsuit seeks unpaid wages, overtime, liquidated damages and attorney’s fees.
Assistant Managers at Boston Market restaurants in New York and Connecticut received conditional certification of a collective action and court authorization to send notice to current and former Assistant Managers. The September 8, 2011 Decision of United States Judge Janet Hall permits Assistant Managers who worked at Boston Market restaurants in New York and New Jersey to join a lawsuit which claims that Boston Market erroneously categorized the position as exempt from the overtime provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”).
The Assistant Managers claim in the lawsuit that they spent most of their workday performing manual labor and customer service tasks, including cleaning ovens, mopping floors, cooking food, serving food, and cashiering. The Assistant Managers contend that as they performed non-exempt duties, Boston Market unlawfully denied them overtime they were entitled to for working in excess of 40 hours in a week. The Complaint alleges that all of the Boston Market Assistant Managers around the country were subject to Boston Market’s common plan or practice of designating them as exempt from the overtime requirements of the FLSA when in fact their work, as described and defined by their job description and required by Boston Market, is not exempt.