PHILADELPHIA — A group of former restaurant workers for Pennsylvania-based Friendly’s recently filed a federal unpaid overtime lawsuit against the company alleging they routinely worked over 40 hours per week without overtime.
The U.S. District Court Judge overseeing the case agreed the workers presented sufficient evidence for their claim to move forward, despite the objections of attorneys for the defense.
Attorneys for the 600-plus chain of family restaurants argued the plaintiffs failed to demonstrate a joint employment relationship was present between the workers and the franchises’ corporate body.
The local franchise where the employees worked and the corporate office were named in the lawsuit, making the potential payday huge should hundreds more employees enter the class.
The judge noted that since Friendly’s corporate was actively engaged in the day to day operations of its franchises and since it set policies for hiring, record time keeping, and training, it may be liable for the damages suffered by the plaintiffs.
Under the FLSA, employers who knowingly deny overtime payments may have to pay back as much as three years worth of overtime.
Class Action Unpaid Wage Lawsuits Against Restaurants
Under the Fair Labor Standards Act, tipped employees must be paid at least one and a half times their normal hourly rate when they work more than 40 hours per week. In Pennsylvania, that translated to $2.38 per hour before over time.
The plaintiffs claim they were frequently made to perform non-tipped duties such as cleaning tables and restocking shelves and should have been paid minimum wage for non-tipped employees.
Large corporate restaurants like Friendly’s are often at the center of class action or collective action lawsuits by employees who feel they were taken advantage of by their employees.
In 2013, a group of almost 20,000 workers for Darden Restaurants (Olive Garden, Red Lobster, Longhorn Steakhouse) filed suit under FLSA alleging they were forced to work off the clock and their tip shares when to employees who performed menial tasks not related to front of house operations.
Restaurant Overtime Lawsuit
Call (855) 754-2795 or complete the Free Unpaid Overtime Case Review form on the top right of this page if you feel that you and and other employees believe that your wage rights are being violated under the FLSA. Our top-rated team of unpaid wage lawyers will evaluate your situation to determine your best course of action to help you seek justice.
Our office will also determine if it is in your best interest to file a lawsuit against your employer. Because strict time limitations apply for filing these types of claims, we advise you contact our experienced unpaid overtime wage attorneys at your earliest convenience and preserve your legal rights.