A collective action complaint out of Georgia court claims defendants Café Circa LLC and one individual are responsible for the non-payment of proper minimum and overtime wages. Citing alleged violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), the lawsuit claims the defendants, in an effort to cut labor costs, took an illegal tip credit on workers’ wages and forced servers to pay out of pocket for their uniforms and other work-related items.
The plaintiff worked for the defendants from August 2015 through November 2016 as a bartender and later as a cook. The woman claims the defendants paid servers pursuant to a “tip credit” method, yet did not pay her or similarly situated workers an hourly wage. Instead, the workers were paid only in tips received from customers. Further, the plaintiff claims she and proposed collective members are owed unpaid time-and-a-half overtime wages for hours worked over 40 in a workweek.
The worst of the lawsuit’s allegations stem from the defendant’s alleged practice of deducting work uniform charges from proposed collective members’ wages even though the workers were only compensated in tips.