EMPLOYMENT LITIGATION

CASE: T.G.I. FRIDAYS

Issues: Minimum wages; overtime wages; spread-of-hours pay; misappropriated tips; unlawful deductions; uniform expenses

Summary:

A lawsuit filed on April 17, 2014 alleges that Carlson Restaurants, Inc., Carlson Restaurants Worldwide, Inc., and TGI Friday's Inc. (collectively, "TGI Friday's") failed to pay its tipped hourly food service workers the proper minimum wage, overtime pay, spread-of-hours pay, and misappropriated tips. This lawsuit was filed as a class action against TGI Friday's locations nationwide. Thus, any current or former server, busser, runner, bartender, barback, host, or any other tipped food service worker who has worked for TGI Friday's within the past six year might be affected.

The servers, bussers, runners, bartenders, barbacks, hosts, and other tipped food service workers ("Tipped Employees") allege that TGI Friday's failed to satisfy the strict requirements under the Fair Labor Standards Act ("FLSA") and the New York Labor Law ("NYLL") that would allow them to pay a reduced minimum wage rate to a tipped employee. In that regard, TGI Friday's had a policy and practice that required Tipped Employees to spend over 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, general cleaning of the restaurant, preparing food in bulk for customers, cutting produce, refilling condiments, and stocking and replenishing the bar and service areas. Therefore, TGI Friday's should have paid the Tipped Employees the full minimum wage rate (currently $8.00 in NY), rather than the reduced tipped minimum wage rate (currently $5.00 in NY). Tipped Employees also allege that TGI Friday's required them to perform "off-the-clock" work which they were never compensated. "Off-the-clock" work consisted of requiring them to arrive at the restaurant one hour before customer service to perform side work, requiring them to punch in after they got their first table, and punch out before they performed closing side work. As a result of these practices, Tipped Employees were not compensated for all the hours they worked and when they worked over forty hours per workweek, they were not paid overtime pay. Tipped Employees consistently worked in excess of ten hours per day without ever being compensated on additional hour of the full minimum wage. Furthermore, TGI Friday's required tips to be distributed to employees who are not entitled to tips under the FLSA and/or NYLL such as, silverware rollers and expeditors. Additionally, Tipped Employees were given only one uniform, which TGI Friday's failed to launder or pay Tipped Employees the statutory uniform allowance. Finally, TGI Friday's made unlawful deductions from Tipped Employees' wages, such as for customer walkouts. 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, spread-of-hours pay, the amount of tips that were distributed to the employees who are not entitled to tips, uniform maintenance reimbursements, and unlawful deductions made from their pay.

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 prep, 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 FLSA and NYLL.

Contact Fitapelli & Schaffer, LLP.

Current and former TGI Friday's tipped employees, who have questions about the lawsuit, should contact Fitapelli & Schaffer, (212) 300-0375, or you can visit www.tgifridayslawsuit.com. 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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