EMPLOYMENT LITIGATION

CASE: CHEETAHS GENTLEMEN'S CLUB & RESTAURANT

Issues: Overtime Violations; Misappropriation of Gratuities; Minimum wages; Unlawful Deductions; Uniform Violations; Spread-of-Hours Violations; Wage Payment Provisions; and Record-Keeping Provisions

Summary:

A lawsuit filed on December 24, 2014 against Three Amigos SJL Inc., Three Amigos Rest., Inc., Times Square Restaurant No. 1, Inc., Times Square Restaurant Group, LTD., Selim Zherka, and Dominica O'Neill (collectively, "Defendants"), who own and/or operate "Cheetahs Gentlemen's Club & Restaurant" ("Cheetahs") located at 252 West 43rd Street, New York, New York 10036. The lawsuit alleges the Cheetahs failed to pay the proper minimum wage, overtime pay, and spread-of-hours pay to exotic dancers as required by the Fair Labor Standards Act ("FLSA") and the New York Labor Law "NYLL"). Additionally, the lawsuit seeks to recover damages for misappropriated gratuities, uniform-related expenses, unlawful deductions, and other statutory penalties under the NYLL. Affected employees include any exotic dancer who has worked for Cheetahs within the last six years.

Plaintiffs allege that Cheetahs did not pay them an hourly salary, even though they were entitled to the full minimum wage rate (currently $8.00 per hour in NY). Plaintiffs further allege that they did not receive an overtime premium for any hours worked in excess of 40 per workweek. Plaintiffs claim that they consistently worked in excess of 10 hours per day without ever being compensated one additional hours pay at the full minimum wage rate. Plaintiffs also claim that Cheetahs made unlawful deductions from their wages in the form of "House Charges" for each shift that they worked. Plaintiffs state that Cheetahs charged them with additional "House Charges" anytime they were late for a shift or had to reschedule a shift. Plaintiffs also claim that Defendants misappropriated their tips by distributing them to workers who did not provide any sort of customer service, such as "House Moms" and DJs. Additionally, Plaintiffs allege that Defendants encouraged customers to tip using "club scrip". "Club scrip" can only be purchased directly from Cheetahs, and Cheetahs retains a portion of every tip paid through "club scrip". Plaintiffs claim that Defendants never told customers that Defendants retained a portion of each tip paid through "club scrip", thereby defrauding customers who believed that they were tipping Plaintiffs a larger amount than they actually had. Plaintiffs also allege that they were required to purchase and maintain uniforms, often directly from Defendants, without receiving any form of reimbursement. Plaintiffs claim that Defendants failed to keep accurate time and pay records of wages and tips. They further claim that Defendants failed to provide Plaintiffs with proper annual wage notices and statements.

Anyone who has worked at a gentlemen's club as an exotic dancer in 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 FLSA and NYLL.

Contact Fitapelli & Schaffer, LLP.

Current and former exotic dancers employed by Cheetahs should who have questions about the lawsuit, should contact Fitapelli & Schaffer, LLP (212) 300-0375, to see if you are eligible to join the lawsuit. You can also view the complaint 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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