Magistrate Judge Grants Plaintiff’s Motion for Corrective Notice in Restaurant Case

In November 2015, Fitapelli & Schaffer, LLP, along with the Pechman Law Group, PLLC, filed a class and collective action complaint against the well-known New Jersey restaurants Segovia Steakhouse & Seafood and Segovia Restaurant. The lawsuit alleged that the Defendants failed to pay their tipped employees, such as servers, bussers, food runners, and bartenders, proper minimum and overtime wages for all hours worked.

On April 28, 2017, Fitapelli & Schaffer, LLP sent the Court-approved Notice of Collective Action to all current and former tipped employees of the Segovia restaurants who worked from April 6, 2014 to the present, giving them 60 days to join the case.

In June, 2017, Plaintiff filed a motion for miscellaneous relief related to alleged improper conduct and communication with potential class members by Defendants.  Specifically, Plaintiffs provided evidence that one of the restaurant’s owners, Manuel Martinez, improperly contacted past and current employees several times after Notice was mailed in order to convince people to not join the lawsuit or remove themselves from the lawsuit.  Moreover, Plaintiffs discovered during the Notice period that not all tipped employees who worked previously at Segovia were identified in order to receive notice.

On June 27, 2017, the Court issued an order aimed at rectifying the Defendants’ actions during the Notice Period.  Specifically, the Court barred Defendants from discussing the lawsuit with any current or former employees in the future.  In addition, the Court ordered that a corrective Notice be posted at the restaurants, that this notice be read aloud at the restaurants, and that the notice be mailed to all class members.  Furthermore, the Court granted Plaintiff’s request for a 30-day extension of time for class members to join the case, and ordered the Defendants to produce a complete class list.

The Fair Labor Standards Act provides that people who seek owed wages can do so on behalf of themselves and all others who are “similarly situated.”  As a result, many of these cases give similarly situated individuals the opportunity to join an ongoing case to seek unpaid wages, minimum wages, and overtime.  We at Fitapelli & Schaffer, LLP take this process very seriously and are pleased that the Court ruled in a way to protect its integrity.

If you or anyone you know has worked for either of the Segovia restaurants and has questions about their eligibility to join this lawsuit. Please call the employment attorney of Fitapelli &Schaffer for a free phone consultation. We can be reached at (212) 300 – 0375 or you can visit our website for more information.