A proposed collective action citing alleged federal and state labor law violations has been filed against two owners of a Brooklyn, New York catering company. The lawsuit was filed by two former employees who worked for the defendants as a bartender/waiter and a waitress and who allege they were deprived of the required minimum wage, overtime pay, and spread-of-hours compensation during their respective employment periods.
According to the case, the plaintiffs worked between 30 and 45 hours each week for an hourly pay rate of $12.00 and $10.00, respectively. The plaintiffs, the case continues, were only paid for hours they were scheduled to work despite regularly being required to work longer. One plaintiff claims he was not paid for an average of six hours worked each month. The defendants’ alleged wage policy caused the plaintiffs’ effective pay rates to fall below the required minimum wage and deprived the workers of premium overtime pay, the suit argues.
Moreover, the former employees allege they were improperly classified as “tipped” workers even though they regularly performed non-tipped duties for more than 20 percent of each shift. Even further, the defendants unlawfully pocketed all tips paid to the plaintiffs, the complaint claims.
“…[I]n order to be eligible for a ‘tip credit,’ employers of tipped employees must either allow employees to keep all the tips that they receive or forgo the tip credit and pay them the full hourly minimum wage for all of their hours worked,” the suit says.
The case further accuses the defendants of depriving the plaintiffs of proper wage notices upon being hired, as well as improper recordkeeping and failing to furnish accurate wage statements.