NEW YORK — A group of current and former delivery workers employed by Lychee House, a Midtown Manhattan Chinese restaurant, filed a class action suit against the company for violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) and New York labor laws. The plaintiffs, who were employed at any time from July 13, 2012 to the present, alleged that Lychee House failed to provide them with written notices about the terms and conditions of their employment when they were hired. Additionally, the company allegedly neglected to pay the plaintiffs “spread of hour” wages, which is an industry-specific compensation that some employers have to pay for shifts lasting more than ten hours. According to the lawsuit, the company willfully and intentionally failed to pay minimum wage, compensation for all hours worked and overtime.
“Spread of Hours” Wages
Under New York state law, “spread of hours” is a special wage requirement promulgated by the New York Commissioner of Labor. “Spread of hours” pay is an extra hour of pay provided to non-exempt employees in certain industries when the interval between the beginning and end of an employee’s workday exceeds ten hours. This applies to non-exempt employees in the hospitality industry (hotels, restaurants, and bars), in all other industries except for building service and farming industries, and by all non-profit organizations unless exempted. However, with the exception of the hospitality industry, the “spread of hours” requirement does not affect workers whose total weekly compensation is sufficiently above the minimum wage. This additional “spread of hours” pay is not payment for work performed and is not part of the calculation for overtime pay.
“Spread of Hours” in the Hospitality Industry
With employees in hotels, restaurants, and bars, “spread of hours” pay must be paid for any days in which their spread is over ten hours, regardless of how much they make. This is paid at the full minimum wage rate, and employers may not apply any credits or allowances for tips, meals, and lodging to the “spread of hours” payment. If a worker has a split shift schedule, hospitality industry employers are not required to pay an extra hour of pay at the full minimum wage if the spread of hours in the split shift does not exceed ten hours.
If you or someone you know is not being paid minimum wage or overtime under state law, or you should call (855) 754-2795 or complete the Free Unpaid Overtime Case Review form on the top right of this page. Our top-rated team of wage lawyers will evaluate your situation to determine your best course of action. We will also determine if it is in your best interest to file a lawsuit against your employer. There are strict time limitations for filing, so it is important that you call our experienced attorneys today.