Workers and managers at a Pinkberry on Chapel Street in New Haven, Connecticut claim that the now closed frozen yogurt shop failed to pay them wages for their hours worked. Several employees claim that their employer did not pay them for months, and despite their attempts to speak to the owner of the shop, they received no response. But notwithstanding the alleged wage theft, workers had to work longer hours, sometimes without a manager, to deal with mismanagement issues at the store. As a result of not having received their pay, many servers working behind the counter and store managers quit but employees continue to wait for the monies owed to them.
Louis Pechman, the founder of Waiterpay, was a featured guest on BK Live’s June 2, 2014 segment on Tipped Wages. The segment focused on pay issues in New York City restaurants, including concerns about the increase in lawsuits for illegal pay practices. Among the topics discussed were the differences between minimum wage and tipped minimum wage, the complicated set of laws involving the tip credit, spread of hours, and other worker rights issues.
Uncle Jack’s Steakhouse and its owner, Food Network Celebrity Willie Degel, will pay $900,000 to settle a wage theft lawsuit filed against its restaurants located in Bayside, Queens and Midtown, New York City. Ironically, Degel was featured on Food Network’s Restaurant Stakeout, a show which followed Degel as he visited restaurants across the country with hidden cameras to capture their food service problems and attempted to fix them.
On May 22, 2014, Judge Loretta Preska, Chief United States District Court Judge in the Southern District of New York, approved a $900,000 settlement between the restaurants and its workers, who alleged that their worker rights were violated by the restaurant. Approximately 239 restaurant workers who worked between September 2002 and September 2008 at the New York City and Queens restaurants are expected to benefit from the settlement.
The lawsuit, which was filed in 2008 by captains, waiters, runners, bussers, and bartenders, alleged that the restaurants failed to pay them at the legally required minimum wage, routinely shaved their hours when they worked over 40 hours and refused to pay them overtime wages for hours worked over 40, misappropriated gratuities belonging to the waitstaff, failed to pay spread of hours pay when the employees’ workdays exceeded ten hours, and refused to pay for employee uniforms or laundering of such uniforms.
Workers at Peter Luger’s, recognized by Zagat’s as the best steakhouse in New York, has agreed to a $250,000 settlement to resolve claims made against the Long Island location of the steakhouse for Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) and New York labor law violations, according to papers filed with the court.
Restaurant employees initially filed a complaint against the steakhouse in March 2013, alleging that the restaurant failed to pay them for all hours worked, specifically that the restaurant violated its workers’ rights by failing to pay proper overtime and minimum wages and spread-of-hours pay, and by maintaining an illegal tip pool. The Complaint alleged that the management deducted $20.00 from the tip pool every day, which would then be given to the kitchen staff at the end of the year.
The workers have asked the Judge Wexler to approve the settlement and certify the proposed class, which would cover 62 employees who worked at the restaurant’s Great Neck location as servers, waitstaff, waiters, and bartenders.
TGI Friday’s was hit with a lawsuit by its servers for violations of state and federal wage payment laws. According to the lawyers for the workers, which include current and former servers, bussers, runners, bartenders, barbacks, hosts, and other tipped workers, the restaurant chain faces a national class action lawsuit as a result of the alleged violations of workers’ rights.
The Complaint, which was filed in federal court by four former TGI Friday’s workers from the New York metro area, alleges that the restaurant required tipped workers to arrive at work before their scheduled start time and to stay at work after the restaurant closed without receiving the minimum wages and overtime to which they were entitled under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) and New York Labor Law (NYLL).
In addition, the workers allege that the restaurant shaved hours from employee time records and allowed employees to work off-the-clock to perform side work such as cleaning the restaurant, preparing food in bulk for customers, cutting produce, refilling condiments, and stocking and replenishing the bar and service areas.
The lawsuit seeks to recover minimum wages, overtime compensation, spread-of-hours pay, misappropriated tips, uniform-related expenses, unlawful deductions, and other wages for current and former workers at TGI Friday’s restaurants throughout the nation owned and/or operated by Carrollton, Texas-based Carlson Restaurants Inc., Carlson Restaurants Worldwide Inc., and TGI Friday’s Inc. nationwide.
Delivery workers for Fresh Direct, an online food and grocery retailer, have sued for unpaid wages and violations of the overtime provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”) and New York Labor Law. According to the Complaint filed in Manhattan federal court by the delivery workers, Fresh Direct misled its customers in believing that the delivery charge it imposes on customers is a gratuity. Attorneys for the delivery workers claim that the company’s acceptance and retention of gratuities belonging to the delivery workers violate the New York Labor Law.
A $3.55 million settlement in a wage pay lawsuit was approved by a federal court judge in California on October 4. The lawsuit claimed that KFC failed to provide its California employees meals and rest breaks and required the workers to perform off-the-clock work during closing shifts for which they were not paid.
The settlement will compensate more than 13,000 current and former KFC workers who have worked at KFC restaurants in California since 2005.
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.