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T.G.I. FRIDAYS LAWSUIT

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On November 20, 2012, Fitapelli & Schaffer filed a class action lawsuit against The Riese Organization, Inc., who owns and/or operates 10 T.G.I. Friday’s in Manhattan.  T.G.I. Friday’s is a popular restaurant brand with more than 500 locations worldwide. This lawsuit alleges that T.G.I. Friday’s failed to pay proper minimum wages, overtime pay, spread-of-hours pay, and call in pay to servers, bussers, runners, bartenders, barbacks and other tipped workers as required under the federal ...

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CHIPOTLE LAWSUIT

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Fitapelli & Schaffer filed a class and collective action against Chipotle Mexican Grill, a “fast casual” restaurant chain with over 1300 locations nationwide.  The lawsuit alleges that Chipotle failed to pay their Apprentices and Assistant Managers proper overtime compensation by misclassifying them as exempt from the overtime provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act and the New York Labor Laws.  We allege that Salaried Apprentices performed the same work as hourly employees, primarily working ...

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Yankee Stadium Banquet Servers Lawsuit

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On November 15, 2012, Fitapelli & Schaffer filed a class and collective action lawsuit against Legends Hospitality, LLC and New York Yankees Partnership (collectively, “Yankees”).  The lawsuit alleges that Yankees led their customers to believe that the mandatory service charge during private catering events was a gratuity that would be distributed to the Banquet Servers.  However, the Yankees retained a portion of this gratuity/service charge.  Moreover, the Yankees failed to pay its Banquet Servers ...

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PROVOCATEUR LAWSUIT

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Fitapelli & Schaffer filed a class and collective action against Provocateur, an upscale nightclub in the Gansevoort Hotel owned by Michael Satsky and Brian Gefter.  The lawsuit alleges Provocateur filed to remit the entire 22% mandatory service charge to tipped employees, including cocktail servers, bartenders and bussers.  We also allege that customers paid a mandatory gratuity for private events, which was not distributed to tipped employees.  Rather, tipped employees received a daily rate, which ...

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DODD-FRANK WHISTLEBLOWER DECISION

Kramer v. Trans-Lux Corp., No. 3:11cv1424 (SRU) (D. Conn. Sept. 25, 2012)

A Federal Court in a recent case gave an expansive interpretation of the whistleblower protections under the Dodd-Frank Act.  Some fear that this ruling will allow more employees to qualify as whistleblowers and, therefore, be afforded the protections of Dodd-Frank from retaliation by their employer.  A “whistleblower” is any individual who provides information relating to a violation of the securities laws to the Securities Exchange Commission (“SEC”).  ...

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YANKEES LAWSUIT

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Fitapelli & Schaffer filed a lawsuit today in Supreme Court Bronx County against the New York Yankees and Legends Hospitality for failing to pay proper wages and gratuities to in-seat servers.  The lawsuit was filed on behalf on 32 workers, many of which are current employees.  According to the lawsuit, the Yankees and Legends failed to pay the 20% service charge or administrative fee that was automatically added to the menu prices to in-seat ...

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IRS WHISTLEBLOWER SETTLEMENT

On September 11, 2012, Swiss banker Bradley Birkenfeld announced that the IRS will pay him $104 million as a whistleblower reward for the information he provided to the U.S. government.  Under the IRS whistleblower program, informants are entitled to a percentage of the dollar amount recovered by the U.S. government when fraud is exposed.  The information supplied by Birkenfeld uncovered a secretive private wealth management division of the Swiss Bank UBS.  This division of UBS would help U.S. clients evade ...

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CALCULATING UNPAID OVERTIME

Hasan v. GPM Investments, LLC, No. 3:07 cv 1779 (SRU) (D. Conn. Aug. 27, 2012).

The Court’s decision in this case benefits employees by helping them recover more money for their unpaid overtime wages. The dispute dealt with how to calculate damages when an employer misclassified workers as exempt from overtime compensation. The employer argued the damages should be calculated using the fluctuating work week method. If an employee worked 52 hours per week and was paid a ...

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DANIEL BOULUD LAWSUIT

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On August 10, 2012, Fitapelli & Schaffer filed a class and collective action lawsuit against The Dinex Group and Daniel Boulud, the world-renowned celebrity chef.  The lawsuit alleges that Boloud’s restaurants, including Bar Boloud fail to pay proper minimum wage, overtime and spread of hours to tipped restaurant workers.  Many of these violations stem from non-tip eligible employees participating in the tip pool, including polishers, expediters and the Maitre’ D.  Under New York law, ...

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HEARST UNPAID INTERNS WIN CONDITIONAL CERTIFICATION

In the recent decision of Wang v. Hearst Corporation, 2012 WL 2864524, the Court denied the defendant-employer’s motion to strike the class and collective action allegations made by the plaintiff-employees and granted the plaintiff’s cross-motion for conditional certification and court-authorized notice to potential class members pursuant to the Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”), 29 U.S.C. §216(b).

Plaintiff’s proposed class consisted of interns who worked at 19 magazines, owned and operated by defendant, performing tasks necessary to the employer’s operations such as ...

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