It seems as though the restaurant industry just does not want to clean up its act when it comes to paying its workers correctly. This is at least the case for BL Restaurant Operations LLC, also known as Bar Louie, that has been hit with yet another wage lawsuit. Back on April 20, 2017 Fitapelli & Schaffer, LLP along with Shellist Lazarz Slobin LLP, filed an amended class action complaint against the upscale nationwide bar/restaurant on behalf of tipped employees. Bar Louie has allegedly failed to pay its tipped workers the appropriate minimum wage pay as required under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) as well as unlawfully requiring its tipped workers to share their gratuities with non-tipped staff. Recently, a motion was filed with the court requesting that notice of the lawsuit and an opportunity to join be sent to tipped employees who have been affected by Bar Louie’s policies. Affected employees include any current or former tipped employees such as bussers, servers, bartenders, barbacks and other similarly situated employees at Bar Louie nationwide within the last three years.
In part, the lawsuit alleges that Bar Louie required their tipped employees to regularly perform non-tipped work known as “side work” in excess of 20% of tipped employees’ time. Such side work included but was not limited to: sweeping, cleaning bathrooms, washing dishes, cleaning out coolers, polishing silverware, mopping, cleaning bar mats, stocking liquor and wine, stocking plates and glasses, cutting fruit, making simple syrup and cleaning / dusting shelves. While this work should have been compensated at the full minimum wage rate, the lawsuit alleges that Bar Louie paid its tipped employee’s the tip-credit minimum wage in violation of the FLSA.
This is not the first wage lawsuit that this restaurant chain has faced highlighting their willfulness to institute widespread practices and policies that violate their tipped employees’ rights under the FLSA. In part, lawsuit seeks to recover the difference between the tipped minimum wage rate and the full minimum wage rate.
The employment lawyers at Fitapelli & Schaffer, LLP are strongly committed to protecting the rights of hard working employees. We are seeking to represent all tipped employees who work or have worked at any of the Bar Louie locations nationwide. Anyone who works or has worked at any of the Bar Louie locations in the United States should contact us in order to discuss your potential rights under the FLSA. For additional information, please call the employment lawyers at Fitapelli & Schaffer, LLP at (212) 300-0375 or visit our website at www.fslawfirm.com for more information.