Tipped workers employed by Restaurant Forgione, located at 134 Reade Street, New York, NY 10013, have sued the company as a class action for unpaid wages. The filed complaint notes that the lawsuit is looking to recover minimum wages, misappropriated tips, call-in pay, and other damages owed to tipped workers. Affected job titles at Forgione may include servers, bussers, food runners, bartenders, and other tipped employees who work or have worked at Forgione in the last couple of years.
The potential violations committed by Forgione include paying its tipped employees the tipped minimum wage rate without meeting the requirements required by Federal and State laws. Under the Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”) or the New York Labor Law (“NYLL”) a company can pay its tipped employees a reduced rate but they must satisfy strict requirements, such as providing tipped workers a notification of the tipped minimum wage rate or tip credit under the NYLL, which they did not do. Forgione also maintained a policy where tipped employees were required to spend more than 20% of their shift cleaning and completing prep work commonly known as “side work”. Their side work was numerous and included tasks such as refilling ice buckets, stocking and refilling garnish stations, chopping fruits and vegetables, refilling the chef’s station, setting up tables, cleaning service stations, and restocking plates. Most of the side work completed at Forgione was while it was closed to the public and therefore did not allow the tipped workers to earn any tips. Due to this setup, tipped workers should have been receiving at least the full minimum wage rate during their time completing side work.
Forgione also required tipped employees to share their tips with workers in positions not eligible to receive them such as expeditors and service managers. The lawsuit alleges that expeditors at the restaurant did not interact enough with customers to be eligible to receive tips. Not only did this occur during their daily shifts but also during private parties and events.
Violations like these are far too frequent in the restaurant industry. Fitapelli & Schaffer, LLP often sees these mistakes made by companies that are eager to save money at the expense of their hard-working employees. If you have questions or concerns about how you are being paid, do not hesitate to call our firm for a free phone consultation. We specialize in a variety of labor laws including in wage and hour violations and can be reached at (212) 300-0375 or by visiting our website.
You may also view the complaint here.