EMPLOYMENT LITIGATION

CASE: BUFFALO WILD WINGS

ISSUES: Minimum Wage, Overtime Wages, Uniform Related Expenses

Summary:

On March 2, 2016, Fitapelli & Schaffer, LLP filed a lawsuit against Buffalo Wild Wings located in New York and Connecticut that are owned and/or operated by Four M Franchising, LLC, Four M Capital LLC, Four M Food Service Of Atlantic Terminal LLC, FMFS Of Forest Hills LLC, FMFS Of 125, LLC, FMFS Of CP, LLC, FMFS Of Riverdale, LLC, FMFS Of Times Square, LLC, Four M Food Service Of Gateway, LLC, Four M Food Service Of Hicksville, LLC, Four M Food Service Of New Roc, LLC, Four M Food Service Of Port Chester, LLC, Four M Food Service Of West Nyack, LLC, Four M Food Service Of Westbury, LLC, and Four M Food Service Of White Plains, LLC (collectively, “Buffalo Wild Wings”). The lawsuit alleges that Buffalo Wild Wings failed to pay the proper minimum wage and overtime pay to servers, bussers, bartenders, and other “Tipped Workers” as required by the Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”) and the New York Labor Law (“NYLL”). Additionally, the lawsuit seeks to recover damages for uniform-related expenses, and other statutory penalties under the NYLL.

Affected employees include any Tipped Worker who works or has worked for a Buffalo Wild Wings located at 139 Flatbush Avenue, Brooklyn, New York 11217; 10716 71st Ave, Forest Hills, New York 11375; 2319 Frederick Douglass Blvd., New York, New York 10027; 134-15 20th Ave., College Point, New York 11356; 193 West 237th Street, Bronx, New York 10463; 253 West 47th Street, New York, New York 10036; 632 Gateway Dr., Brooklyn, New York 11239; 358B Broadway Mall, Hicksville, New York 11801; 33 LeCount Place, New Rochelle, New York 10801; 44 Westchester Ave., Port Chester, New York 10573; 4640 Palisades Center Dr., West Nyack, New York 10994; 737 Merrick Ave., Westbury, New York 11590; 1 Mamaroneck Ave., White Plains, New York 10601; 208 Summer St., Stamford, Connecticut 06901; 1201 Boston Post Rd., STE R3, Milford, CT 06460; 74-76 Church Street, New Haven, Connecticut 06510; 350 Universal Dr., North Haven, Connecticut 06473; and 20 Backus Ave., Danbury, Connecticut 06810 within the past six years.

Specifically, Tipped Workers allege that Buffalo Wild Wings failed to inform them of the tipped minimum wage or “tip credit” provisions of the FLSA or the NYLL, therefore, Buffalo Wild Wings should have paid Tipped Workers the full minimum wage rate (currently $9.00 per hour in NY) rather than the tipped minimum wage rate (currently $7.50 per hour in NY). Tipped Workers also allege that Buffalo Wild Wings required Tipped Workers to spend two hours and/or in excess of 20% of their work shift performing non-tip producing “side work.” Side work included, but was not limited to: filling and cleaning ice bins; setting up and stocking the to-go station; rolling silverware; running silverware through the dish machine; sweeping; wiping down tables; washing ketchup bottles; restocking cups and napkins; dusting; stocking and/or filling condiments; setting up and breaking down the beverage station; attending pre-shift meetings; running dirty dishes through the dish machine; wiping down server trays; wiping down windows; cleaning the bathroom; removing and cleaning bar floor mats; cutting lemons, limes, and oranges; wiping down the bar; de-gumming tables; filling sanitizer buckets; rotating sauces and other perishable items in the cooler/refrigerator; and cleaning out salt and pepper shakers. Therefore, Buffalo Wild Wings should have paid Tipped Workers the full minimum wage rate rather than the reduced tipped minimum wage rate. Moreover, when Tipped Workers worked in excess of 40 hours per week, they should have been compensated time and one-half the full minimum wage rate rather than the reduced overtime rate. Finally, Tipped Workers were given a uniform consisting of a sports jersey featuring the Buffalo Wild Wings logo. However, Buffalo Wild Wings failed to provide a sufficient number of uniforms to each Tipped Worker, failed to launder and/or maintain the uniform, and failed to pay Tipped Workers the required weekly uniform-maintenance amount in addition to the required minimum wage.

This lawsuit seeks to recover the difference between the reduced tipped minimum wage and the full minimum wage, premium overtime pay for hours worked in excess of forty per workweek, uniform-related expenses, and statutory damages for failing to provide proper annual wage notices and proper wage statements.

Anyone who has worked in the restaurant industry in either the “front-of-the house” (i.e., server, busser, bartender, etc.) or the “back-of-the-house” (i.e., dishwasher, food preparer, cook, line cook, etc.) position within the past six years may have a wage claim. Please contact the employment lawyers at Fitapelli & Schaffer, LLP (212-300-0375) to schedule a free consultation so that we can discuss your rights under the state and federal labor laws.

Contact Fitapelli & Schaffer, LLP

Current and/or former servers, bussers, bartenders, and other “Tipped Workers” of Buffalo Wild Wings should contact Fitapelli & Schaffer, LLP (212-300-0375), to see if you are eligible to join the case. You can also view the complaint by clicking here.

RECORD SETTING AWARDS AND SETTLEMENTS

FOR OUR CLIENTS


$19,100,000

$19.1 Million for Tipped Restaurant Workers. (pending court approval)

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.

$15,900,000

$15.9 Million for Personal Bankers.

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.

$14,500,000

$14.5 Million for Spam Text Victims

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.

$7,000,000

$7.0 Million for Bank Loan Officers

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.

$5,900,000

$5.9 Million for Commissioned Car Salesmen.

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.

$4,300,000

$4.3 Million for Personal Bankers

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.

$4,300,000

$4.3 Million for Entertainers at Gentleman’s Clubs

F&S represented entertainers at a popular gentleman’s club in New York City that claimed the club failed to pay them the proper wages. The entertainers were able to recover owed wages that included unpaid minimum wages, overtime pay, spread-of-hours pay, unlawfully retained tips, unlawful deductions, and uniform-related expenses.

$3,600,000

$3.6 Million for Tipped Employees at Upscale Restaurant

Tipped workers alleged that a Mexican Michelin rated restaurant with 17 locations denied them overtime pay, minimum wages, and call-in pay. Our firm was able to recover wages for these tipped employees that included servers, bussers, bartenders, food runners and barbacks.

$3,400,000

$3.4 Million for Assistant Managers at Bank

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.

$3,000,000

$3.0 Million for Bank Loan Officers

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.

$2,836,000

$2.9 Million for Tipped Restaurant Employees.

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.

$2,250,000

$2.25 Million for Tipped Workers at Chain Sports Bar

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.

$2,000,000

$2.0 Million for Bank Loan Officers

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.

$1,950,000

$1.95 Million for Health Care Workers

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.

CONTACT

FITAPELLI & SCHAFFER LLP


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