On December 6, 2017, Fitapelli & Schaffer, LLP filed a class action lawsuit against the Haru restaurants, part of an acclaimed six chain sushi restaurant in New York, owned by Benihana National Corp., an international restaurant corporation with 77 restaurants around the world. The lawsuit claims that Haru wrongfully paid tipped employees, such as servers, bussers, runners and bartenders less than the full minimum wage in addition to other violations under the Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”) and the New York Labor Law (“NYLL”).
Specifically, tipped employees were required to share a portion of their total tips with sushi chefs. Under the FLSA and the NYLL, a worker’s eligibility to earn tips depends on their interaction with customers. Here, the Plaintiff alleges that sushi chefs did not greet customers, take their orders, or deliver food or beverages to customers. As a result, Plaintiff alleges that sushi chefs were inappropriately included in the tip pool at the Haru restaurants.
In addition, Plaintiff alleges that tipped employees were required to spend a substantial amount of time performing non-tip producing side work, including, but not limited to, cleaning bathrooms, taking out garbage, general cleaning of the restaurant, refilling condiments, stocking and replenishing service areas, and washing, polishing and restocking glassware. Tipped employees were required to perform side work at the start, during, and the end of every shift which resulted in them spending more than 20% of their shifts completing side work duties. All of these required side work duties, customarily assigned to “back-of-the-house” employees in other restaurants, typically receive at least the full minimum wage rate. If a tipped worker, earning a reduced minimum wage, is forced to spend a significant amount of time completing side work, they should be paid the full minimum wage during that time.
This lawsuit seeks to recover minimum wages, overtime wages, misappropriated tips, call-in pay and other damages for tipped employees such as servers, bussers, runners, and bartenders who work or have worked at the Haru restaurants located at 220 Park Ave. South, New York, NY 10003 (“Gramercy Haru”) and 1329 3rd Ave., New York, NY 10011 (“Third Ave. Haru”). If you or a loved one has worked at these locations, please contact the employment lawyers at Fitapelli & Schaffer at (212) 300-0375 if you have any questions about this case. You can also view the complaint here.
Workers such as servers, bussers, runners bartenders, barbacks and other tipped workers at a large national casual dining chain alleged they were owed wages. Their claims included but were not limited to: unpaid overtime, spread-of hours, misappropriated tips, uniform-related expenses and unlawful deductions.
The firm was able to recover overtime compensation for personal bankers and others similarly situated at a national bank that operates hundreds of branches throughout the United States. Employees in affected positions claimed they were required to work more than 40 hours a week in order to meet sales quotas but were not compensated overtime for their pay.
Fitapelli & Schaffer was able to recover damages for recipients of unwanted promotional text messages from a popular young adult clothing retailer. The clothing company allegedly violated the Telephone Consumer Protection Act by sending text messages to recipients’ cellular phones without their prior express written consent.
The firm was able to recover overtime compensation for loan officers at a national bank that operates more than hundreds of branches nationwide. Employees in affected positions claimed they were required to work more than 40 hours a week in order to meet sales goals but were not compensated overtime for their pay.
One of the largest auto dealerships in the NYC Metropolitan Area agreed to pay owed wages to its car salesmen. The company was accused of failing to pay salesmen the proper minimum wage, overtime pay, commissions, and made unlawful deductions from their earned wages in violation of federal labor laws.
Even though personal bankers at this nationwide bank were classified as exempt from receiving overtime pay, the company routinely required them to work in excess of 40 hours per week. There are federal laws that help protect workers from misclassification and in this situation; Fitapelli & Schaffer was able to recover unpaid overtime for personal bankers throughout the United States.
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Fitapelli & Schaffer successfully recovered unpaid overtime for assistant managers on a salary at a bank with locations nationwide. The salaried workers argued that they were wrongfully classified as exempt from receiving overtime when working over 40 hours per week.
The fast food chain allegedly misclassified its assistant managers as salaried workers and considered them exempt from receiving overtime pay when working over 40 hours per week. Fitapelli & Schaffer was able to recover overtime compensation for all of the popular fast food chains’ assistant managers nationwide, with the exception of California.
Fitapelli & Schaffer was able to recover unpaid minimum wages, overtime, spread-of hours, and unlawful deductions for tipped restaurant workers at a popular dining chain. Affected workers included servers, bussers, runners bartenders, barbacks and other tipped workers.
proper minimum wage and overtime. Fitapelli & Schaffer helped the workers recover owed wages to the following positions: servers, bussers, bartenders, and other tipped workers under federal and state labor laws.
Fitapelli & Schaffer was able to successfully recover unpaid overtime for loan officers at a nationwide bank that operates over one thousand locations across the United States. Loan officers for the company alleged that even though they were hourly employees and consistently worked over 40 hours per week they were working off the clock and not getting overtime pay.
A New York based health insurance provider allegedly had its health care workers working over 40 hours per week but required they submit weekly timesheets that only showed they worked 37.5 hours. Fitapelli & Schaffer was able to successfully recover compensation for unpaid wages, overtime and spread of hours pay.
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