On March 2, 2016, Fitapelli & Schaffer, LLP filed a lawsuit against Buffalo Wild Wings located in New York and Connecticut that are owned and/or operated by Four M Franchising, LLC, Four M Capital LLC, Four M Food Service Of Atlantic Terminal LLC, FMFS Of Forest Hills LLC, FMFS Of 125, LLC, FMFS Of CP, LLC, FMFS Of Riverdale, LLC, FMFS Of Times Square, LLC, Four M Food Service Of Gateway, LLC, Four M Food Service Of Hicksville, LLC, Four M Food Service Of New Roc, LLC, Four M Food Service Of Port Chester, LLC, Four M Food Service Of West Nyack, LLC, Four M Food Service Of Westbury, LLC, and Four M Food Service Of White Plains, LLC (collectively, “Buffalo Wild Wings”). The lawsuit alleges that Buffalo Wild Wings failed to pay the proper minimum wage and overtime pay to servers, bussers, bartenders, and other “Tipped Workers” as required by the Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”) and the New York Labor Law (“NYLL”). Additionally, the lawsuit seeks to recover damages for uniform-related expenses, and other statutory penalties under the NYLL.
Affected employees include any Tipped Worker who works or has worked for a Buffalo Wild Wings located at 139 Flatbush Avenue, Brooklyn, New York 11217; 10716 71st Ave, Forest Hills, New York 11375; 2319 Frederick Douglass Blvd., New York, New York 10027; 134-15 20th Ave., College Point, New York 11356; 193 West 237th Street, Bronx, New York 10463; 253 West 47th Street, New York, New York 10036; 632 Gateway Dr., Brooklyn, New York 11239; 358B Broadway Mall, Hicksville, New York 11801; 33 LeCount Place, New Rochelle, New York 10801; 44 Westchester Ave., Port Chester, New York 10573; 4640 Palisades Center Dr., West Nyack, New York 10994; 737 Merrick Ave., Westbury, New York 11590; 1 Mamaroneck Ave., White Plains, New York 10601; 208 Summer St., Stamford, Connecticut 06901; 1201 Boston Post Rd., STE R3, Milford, CT 06460; 74-76 Church Street, New Haven, Connecticut 06510; 350 Universal Dr., North Haven, Connecticut 06473; and 20 Backus Ave., Danbury, Connecticut 06810 within the past six years.
Specifically, Tipped Workers allege that Buffalo Wild Wings failed to inform them of the tipped minimum wage or “tip credit” provisions of the FLSA or the NYLL, therefore, Buffalo Wild Wings should have paid Tipped Workers the full minimum wage rate (currently $9.00 per hour in NY) rather than the tipped minimum wage rate (currently $7.50 per hour in NY). Tipped Workers also allege that Buffalo Wild Wings required Tipped Workers to spend two hours and/or in excess of 20% of their work shift performing non-tip producing “side work.” Side work included, but was not limited to: filling and cleaning ice bins; setting up and stocking the to-go station; rolling silverware; running silverware through the dish machine; sweeping; wiping down tables; washing ketchup bottles; restocking cups and napkins; dusting; stocking and/or filling condiments; setting up and breaking down the beverage station; attending pre-shift meetings; running dirty dishes through the dish machine; wiping down server trays; wiping down windows; cleaning the bathroom; removing and cleaning bar floor mats; cutting lemons, limes, and oranges; wiping down the bar; de-gumming tables; filling sanitizer buckets; rotating sauces and other perishable items in the cooler/refrigerator; and cleaning out salt and pepper shakers. Therefore, Buffalo Wild Wings should have paid Tipped Workers the full minimum wage rate rather than the reduced tipped minimum wage rate. Moreover, when Tipped Workers worked in excess of 40 hours per week, they should have been compensated time and one-half the full minimum wage rate rather than the reduced overtime rate. Finally, Tipped Workers were given a uniform consisting of a sports jersey featuring the Buffalo Wild Wings logo. However, Buffalo Wild Wings failed to provide a sufficient number of uniforms to each Tipped Worker, failed to launder and/or maintain the uniform, and failed to pay Tipped Workers the required weekly uniform-maintenance amount in addition to the required minimum wage.
This lawsuit seeks to recover the difference between the reduced tipped minimum wage and the full minimum wage, premium overtime pay for hours worked in excess of forty per workweek, uniform-related expenses, and statutory damages for failing to provide proper annual wage notices and proper wage statements.
Anyone who has worked in the restaurant industry in either the “front-of-the house” (i.e., server, busser, bartender, etc.) or the “back-of-the-house” (i.e., dishwasher, food preparer, cook, line cook, etc.) position within the past six years may have a wage claim. Please contact the employment lawyers at Fitapelli & Schaffer, LLP (212-300-0375) to schedule a free consultation so that we can discuss your rights under the state and federal labor laws.
Current and/or former servers, bussers, bartenders, and other “Tipped Workers” of Buffalo Wild Wings should contact Fitapelli & Schaffer, LLP (212-300-0375), to see if you are eligible to join the case. You can also view the complaint by clicking here.