On March 5, 2020, Fitapelli & Schaffer, LLP filed a class and collective action lawsuit in the United States District Court for the Southern District of Florida against RA Sushi Holding Corporation and RA Sushi Towne Square Corp., (collectively, “Defendants” or “RA Sushi”) for unpaid wages. RA Sushi, known for its “snazzy” Japanese-fusion styled restaurants, has over 20 dining-in restaurants across the United States, including Florida, California, Arizona, and Texas. The lawsuit, filed on behalf of all servers, bussers, runners, bartenders, and other “Tipped Employees,” seeks to recover unpaid minimum wages, overtime wages, and other damages pursuant to the Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”).
Plaintiff’s complaint alleged unpaid minimum wages and overtime wages claims. Specifically, Plaintiff asserted RA Sushi compensated its Tipped Employees at the applicable “tipped” minimum wage rate but failed to adhere to the strict requirements under the FLSA that would allow them to apply a “tip credit” to Tipped Employees’ wages. For example, Defendants failed to provide Tipped Employees with suitable notification of the tipped minimum wage rate or tip credit provisions of the FLSA, or of their intent to apply a tip credit to their wages. In addition, Defendants required Tipped Employees to share a portion of their tips with sushi chefs. The FLSA determined that a worker’s eligibility to receive tips out of a “tip pool” depends on their interaction with customers. Plaintiff alleged that sushi chefs were ineligible to receive tips because they did not engage in customer interaction; sushi chefs did not take customers’ orders or deliver food or beverages to customers. Therefore, Plaintiff alleged that sushi chefs were improperly included in the tip pool at RA Sushi. Furthermore, RA Sushi failed to pay Tipped Employees premium overtime wages at a rate of 1.5 times the full minimum wage rate for all hours worked beyond 40 per workweek.
Violations like these appear frequently in the restaurant business. Fitapelli & Schaffer, LLP concentrates in wage and hour violations and can offer helpful insight regarding questions about how you are paid. Current and former Tipped Employees at RA Sushi should contact us to see if you are eligible to join the case. For a free consultation, please call Fitapelli & Schaffer, LLP at (212) 300-0375 or visit our website at www.fslawfirm.com.
You can also review the complaint here.