Texas Roadhouse has been hit with a class action lawsuit by assistant managers who claim they were not paid overtime. The lawsuit, filed in Pennsylvania federal court, claims the popular restaurant chain misclassified them as exempt employees and failed to pay them overtime for hours worked in excess of forty per workweek in violation of the Fair Labor and Standards Act (FLSA) and Pennsylvania Minimum Wage Act.
The assistant managers spent the majority of their working hours performing manual labor and non-exempt duties. The lawsuit alleges that the Assistant Managers principal duties included cooking and preparing food; taking orders; serving customers; cleaning; processing customer payments; and expediting food orders. Although the assistant manager position was managerial in title, the duties did not include primary managerial responsibilities or meaningful independent judgements and discretion. The lawsuit claims that in the absence of managerial responsibilities, the assistant managers should have been classified as non-exempt from overtime requirements and should have been paid overtime for any hours worked in excess of forty per workweek.
The FLSA and Pennsylvania Minimum Wage Act require that employees be paid at a rate of one and a half times their regular hourly rate for all hours exceeding forty per work week, unless they are “exempt.” In order to be exempt from the overtime requirement, the duties of a given employee must be of high-level responsibility. For example, performing office or non-manual work related to the general business operations or management, having the ability to hire, fire, promote or change the status of other employees, and use personal discretion when performing tasks without reporting to anyone else. According to the lawsuit, the Texas Roadhouse assistant managers did not meet these strict requirements.
Other restaurant chains have also been facing overtime lawsuits by their assistant managers. These include McDonald’s, IHOP, Denny’s and Ruby Tuesday. If you are an Assistant Manager working at a fast-causal restaurant and are not being paid overtime, please call Pechman Law Group at 212-583-9500 for a free consultation.