Settlement for F&S’s $19.1M Wage Deal is Preliminarily Approved by Federal Judge

Fitapelli & Schaffer is pleased to announce the preliminary approval of a revised $19.1 million settlement against TGI Friday’s Inc. by a class of 28,000 tipped employees. A settlement that was originally denied by the Judge resurfaced after specific provisions were removed.

The settlement was initially denied due to the vagueness of the class action’s confidentiality provisions, waivers, and releases. TGI Friday’s allegedly violated the Fair Labor Standards Act, along with the laws of nine states, which the federal judge now deems sufficient merit to continue the preliminary approval of the settlement. The states affected are California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Illinois, Maryland, Michigan, New Jersey, and New York.

U.S. District Judge Analisa Torres noted that the parties cleared up any vague content in regards to the confidentiality and waiver provisions that were recorded in the initial agreement.  The content that the new settlement clarified is related to how both parties should respond to inquiries from the media. Additionally, the revised settlement changed release provisions that were once labeled “unfair” and “unreasonable”, to release provisions that only barred the tipped workers from suing for federal and state allegations which deal with the present wage suit.

The restaurant owners at TGI Friday’s allegedly took a percentage of the tipped worker’s pay and labeled it as a “tip credit” on their paychecks and then paid a reduced minimum wage, which is not permitted in this specific case. The restaurant allegedly violated FLSA law with claims regarding to unfair labor, such as misappropriation of tips and failing to pay proper overtime or reimbursing employees for their uniforms and related expenses.

The settlement asks that the employees receive a payout based on the number of weeks they worked during the period of investigation, according to the Judge’s initial approval.

The restaurant industry is infamous for their wage and hour violations. As a tipped employee, you could be owed wages. Speak with an attorney at our firm to see if your employer is properly paying you. You can contact us at (212) 300- 0375 to schedule a free consultation or visit our webpage here.

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