Sushi Samba

Issues: Minimum wage; Misappropriated gratuities


Fitapelli & Schaffer, LLP filed a class action lawsuit on May 13, 2015 against Gaucho, LLC; Samba Brands Management; 7th & Barrow LLC; Avenue Spoon Inc.; Shimon Bokova; Danielle Billera; and Matthew Johnson (collectively, “Defendants”) who own and/or operate the Sushi Samba restaurants in New York City. The lawsuit claims that Defendants failed to pay its Tipped Employees the appropriate minimum wage as required by the Fair Labor Standards Act (the “FLSA”) and the New York Labor Law (the “NYLL”) and seeks damages for misappropriated gratuities and other statutory penalties under the NYLL.

Affected employees include any servers, bussers, runners, bartenders, and other “Tipped Employees” who presently work or have worked for the Sushi Samba restaurants located at 87 7th Avenue South, New York, New York 10014 and 245 Park Avenue South, New York, New York 10003 within the last six years.

Plaintiff alleges that he and other Tipped Employees are owed the full minimum wage rate (currently $8.75 in NY) as opposed to the tipped minimum wage rate (currently $5.00 in NY) because Defendants did not inform them of the tipped credit as required by the FLSA or the NYLL. Plaintiff also alleges that Defendants required Tipped Employees to share their hard earned tips with non-tipped employees, such as sushi chefs, who otherwise are not entitled to tips under the FLSA or the NYLL. In addition, Plaintiff alleges that Defendants did not provide its Tipped Employees the full amount of any automatically applied “service charges” when working private functions. The lawsuit seeks to recover the difference between the tipped minimum wage rate and the full minimum wage rate, the amount of tips that were distributed to non-tipped employees, and the amount of tips Defendants misappropriated from service charges. Last, the lawsuit seeks to recover all NYLL statutory damages for failure to provide accurate wage statements, wage notices, and failure to maintain accurate records of wages, tips earned, and hours worked by its employees.

Contact Fitapelli & Schaffer, LLP.

Current and former Tipped Employees of Sushi Samba restaurants should contact Fitapelli & Schaffer at (212) 300-0375 to see if you are eligible to join the case. While the lawsuit currently only involves current or former New York employees, any individuals who work or have worked at Sushi Samba’s other United States locations in Miami Beach, Florida, Coral Gables, Florida, or Las Vegas, Nevada may also have claims for their owed minimum wage and should contact our office for a free consultation.

You can also view the complaint by clicking here.