A proposed collective action claims the operators of Manhattan restaurant Blue Ribbon Brasserie have failed to pay workers proper minimum and overtime wages.
The plaintiff, who worked as a sauce preparer at the restaurant from 1993 to March 2020, alleges he and likely others were paid a fixed weekly rate that sometimes fell below New York’s minimum wage. The plaintiff further claims he and likely others were not paid at the statutory time-and-a-half overtime rate for hours worked in excess of 40 each week, and deprived of proper wage statements.
According to the lawsuit, the plaintiff worked at Blue Ribbon Brasserie from 7:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Sunday through Friday, with Saturdays off. During his employment, the plaintiff was paid a fixed weekly salary of $700 in cash from 2015 to 2017 and $959 in cash during 2018, 2019 and 2020, the case says. Per the lawsuit, the plaintiff received the same fixed salary each week regardless of how many hours he actually worked, meaning his effective hourly pay rate sometimes fell below New York City’s minimum wage.
“Defendants’ failure to pay [the plaintiff] an amount at least equal to the New York City minimum wage in effect during relevant time periods was willful, and lacked a good faith basis,” the complaint alleges.
The lawsuit further claims the plaintiff was not paid at the proper time-and-a-half overtime rate for hours worked in excess of 40 each week even though he regularly put in 54 weekly hours.
According to the suit, the plaintiff was paid only in cash and received no paystubs or wage statements “of any sort” throughout his employment.
The lawsuit alleges the defendants have applied the same wage practices to similarly situated employees in violation of the Fair Labor Standards Act and New York Labor Law.
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