Two former employees of Miami-based restaurant Pubbelly Sushi have filed suit against the restaurant’s operating companies and three individual owners. The plaintiffs allege that they were not paid proper minimum and overtime wages in accordance with the Fair Labor Standards Act. Their overtime wages were supposedly calculated without accounting for the automatic gratuity added to the bills of large parties.
“Defendants also maintained a policy and practice requiring Plaintiffs and similarly situated Tipped Workers to engage in a tip distribution scheme wherein they must share a daily portion of their total tips with individuals not eligible to receive tips, namely, sushi chefs and dishwashers,” the complaint claims.
By requiring tips to be split among non-tipped employees, the defendants forfeited their right to apply a “tip credit” to servers’ wages, the suit argues. As a result, they are required to pay their tipped employees the full minimum wage, but allegedly failed to do so.
On top of the overtime and tip credit violations, the defendants required employees to pay for their own uniforms and deducted charges from their wages when customers left the restaurant without paying their bills, according to the complaint. The suit claims that these policies and practices caused tipped employees’ pay to fall well below the required minimum and overtime wages.