NEW YORK — A New York City deli chain faces a potential overtime class action lawsuit from its delivery and cleaning employees. Matrat LLC, the owner of nine Guy & Gallard restaurants in New York, and associates are named in the lawsuit alleging Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) and New York labor law violations. The labor violations include illegal tip sharing and failure to pay minimum wage and overtime. The plaintiffs are seeking an injunction, to stop the violations, along with unpaid overtime and minimum wages.
The Alleged Violations
Delivery and cleaning employees were responsible for the delivery, food display set up, and other duties related to special corporate catering orders. The affected employees claim the company failed to pay minimum wage, “spread of hours” premiums, and overtime according to state and federal labor laws for their services. Under New York law, employees receive extra minimum wage, or “spread of hours” premiums, when they work more than 10 hours a day. Additionally, they claim the company committed numerous violations related to tipped wages.
Employers and Tipped Wages
Employers with tipped employees must take additional steps when paying and reporting tipped employees’ wages. Employers must record tipped employees according to whether they are performing tipped or non-tipped work. Employers must show that tipped employees earned enough tips to make up the difference between tipped minimum wage and full minimum wage, federally $2.13 and $7.25 respectively. They do this by reporting the amount of tips employees earn and claiming the difference as “tip credit” toward the minimum wage requirement.
Employers must inform tipped employees, prior to claiming tip credit, the amount the employer is going to pay the employee, whether tipped minimum wage or higher, and how much the employer is going to claim as tip credit. Employers also have to inform tipped employees if there is a required tip pool. Only tipped employees are allowed to participate in and receive tips from tip pools, and employers are not allowed to retain any of the employees’ tips.
The lawsuit claims the restaurant chain required the delivery and cleaning employees, who were tipped employees, split their tips with nontipped employees and management. The tipped employees say the chain controlled the tip-pooling plan without input or agreement from the tipped employees. The New York deli chain, also, allegedly failed to inform tipped employees the percentage of tips allocated for each corporate catering order. These practices allegedly allowed the deli chain to wrongfully claim tip credits.
If you are a tipped employee and your employer has failed to pay minimum wage or proper overtime, contact our experienced team of overtime pay lawyers today. Complete the Free Unpaid Overtime Case Review form or contact us at (855) 754-2795 and our knowledgeable legal team will evaluate your case. If we accept your case, we will represent you under our No Fee Promise. This means there are no legal fees or costs unless you receive a settlement.