On May 26, 2019 Fitapelli & Schaffer, LLP filed arbitration demands for unpaid wages on behalf of individuals who worked as tipped employees at Blue Note Jazz Club. In these matters, the company forced its employees to sign arbitration agreements, contracts that prohibit workers from filing claims for unpaid wages in court, and prohibit workers from coming together as a class to reclaim their unpaid wages. Once an arbitration agreement is signed claims that arise, even if they affect all employees, cannot be brought together as a class and must be handled individually. Arbitration agreements are a common tactic used by employers to dissuade employees from coming forward and banding together against the company to recover unpaid wages.
In this case, Blue Note Jazz Club instituted a series of policies and procedures that deprived these tipped workers of their lawfully earned wages violating the Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”) and the New York Labor Law (“NYLL”). Some of these alleged FLSA and NYLL violations include failing to pay tipped employees the proper minimum and overtime wages, retaining service charges from private events and/or large parties, failing to pay spread-of-hours pay, failing to provide proper annual wage notices, and failing to furnish accurate wage statements. Specifically, in regard to tipped worker’s minimum wage and overtime claims, Blue Note Jazz Club required them to perform non-tipped work in excess of 2 hours and/or 20% of their shift, and failed to provide them with proper notice of the tip credit under the NYLL. In addition to their unpaid wages, the tipped workers we represent seek liquidated damages and attorneys’ fees and costs.
Fitapelli & Schaffer plans to aggressively combat Blue Note Jazz Club’s attempt to silence its workers by forcing them into arbitration. If you’ve worked for this company or another similar institution and are experiencing issues with unpaid wages or tips retained by your employer, and signed an arbitration agreement, call (212) 300-0375 for a free consultation now. You’ll be able to confidentially speak to one of our representatives who will quickly let you know if we can assist you with your potential claim. You can also view additional information on our website.