NEW YORK — A New York based barbeque chain is facing a potential class action wage and overtime pay lawsuit in New York federal court. The barbeque chain is accused of improperly paying its tipped employees and denying them the overtime wages they had earned. The proposed class action lawsuit intends to include bartenders, bussers, servers and other tipped employees working for the restaurant chain dating back at least two years.
The BBQ Claim
A former tipped employee, Ashley Hankins, filed the recent lawsuit alleging the restaurant chain required tipped employees to perform non-tipped work, but did not pay them the proper minimum wage for their non-tipped work, nor did they allegedly pay proper wages for the tipped work performed. In her claim, Hankins alleges tipped workers would spend as much as two hours per shift performing non-tipped “side work,” like refilling condiments, taking out garbage, cutting produce, and general cleaning. Because of the amount of non-tipped work performed, Hankins claims she and other similarly situated tipped employees were actually entitled to full minimum wage instead of the tipped minimum wage they were paid.
Additionally, the lawsuit alleges the company required tipped employees to take part in a “tip distribution scheme” which allowed non-tipped workers to receive a portion of the tips. Hankins claims tipped employees were required to share their tips with kitchen workers and the kitchen managers, who are not entitled to tip sharing proceeds. Moreover, the lawsuit claims Dinosaur Bar-B-Que failed to maintain proper wage and tip records or to provide accurate wage statements. The lawsuit it seeking compensation for the “side work,” the unpaid overtime, and the misappropriated tips the tipped workers allege they were denied.
Violations of the tip sharing laws, as well as improperly compensating for non-tipped work, will prevent employers from legally paying employees the tipped minimum wage. Employers cannot require employees to create a tip sharing system. However, if tip sharing occurs the employer must insure that only tipped employees receive proceeds from the collected tips. Additionally, employers must notify tipped employees in advance if tip sharing will occur, if the employer will be claiming tip credit, and if they will be paying tipped minimum wage.
If you are a tipped employee at Dinosaur Bar-B-Que or another restaurant and you believe your employer has failed to properly pay for non-tipped work or requires tip sharing with non-tipped employees, you may have a wage or overtime pay claim. Time is limited for filing wage and overtime complaints so it is important to call today! Our top-rated team of overtime pay lawyers can be reached at (855) 754-2795. Or complete our Free Unpaid Overtime Case Review form and our knowledgeable legal team will evaluate your claim. 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.