Four companies that collectively own three New York eateries—El Paso Taqueria, El Paso Deli Restaurant, and Nocciola Pizzeria E Trattoria—have been named in a proposed collective action alleging violations of federal and state labor laws.
According to the lawsuit, the plaintiff was employed by the three Manhattan restaurants as a delivery driver from August 2016 to September 2017. The case says that during his tenure, the plaintiff allegedly worked in excess of 40 hours per week for an hourly rate “that was lower than the required tip-credit rate.”
The plaintiff further argues that his tip-credited hourly pay rate was inappropriate given that he spent over 20 percent of each workday performing non-tipped duties, such as preparing food and cleaning. Moreover, in alleged violation of the New York Labor Law, the plaintiff claims that he never received a written notice from the defendants disclosing their intent to take a tip credit against his wages.
The lawsuit also accuses the defendants of unlawfully withholding some of the plaintiff’s tips, alleging the restaurants pocketed “$1.50 per delivery and…$2 from the total of his weekly tips.” In addition to partially withholding tips, the defendants took further improper deductions from the plaintiff’s earnings, the lawsuit alleges, including a $46 deduction from his weekly wage for a customer who refused to pay for an order.
The plaintiff seeks to recover allegedly unpaid wages and other damages pursuant to the Fair Labor Standards Act and New York law.