BALTIMORE — A U.S. District Court judge for the District of Maryland recently handed down a significant ruling in a class action overtime pay lawsuit, holding that two Ocean City, Maryland restaurants may be enjoined in a lawsuit alleging the companies failed to fully pay workers. The important decision allows other similarly situated restaurant workers under the defendants’ ownership to join the class and recover lost wages related to the alleged wage theft.
The single named plaintiff in the case claims his employer held a business policy not to pay employees overtime wages, a serious violation of the Fair Labor Standard Act (FLSA) that holds almost all hourly workers must be paid one and a half times their regular hourly wage for overtime hours. The plaintiff claims that at the time of his hire, the defendant explicitly stated that the restaurant would not pay overtime for any workers regularly scheduled for more than 40 hours per week.
To further his claim, the plaintiff alleged that evidence existed that other workers at another restaurant owned by the plaintiffs also worked more than 40 hours per week but were not paid time and a half for overtime. Until 2014, many Ocean City businesses claimed their workers were seasonal employees exempt from overtime provisions under the FLSA.
The defendant opposed the class certification claiming the two restaurants were separate business entities and plaintiffs can bring suit only against the restaurant employing the individual. Fortunately for the plaintiffs, the federal judge hearing the case sided on behalf of the workers, granting the claim conditional certification because although the plaintiffs’ situations were not exactly the same, they were similarly situated enough.
Under the FLSA, wage theft victims can file unpaid overtime class action lawsuits to recover their unpaid wages, interest on back pay, liquidated damages equal to lost pay, attorney’s fees and other damages. Furthermore, courts may see fit to award extra compensation to plaintiffs taking the lead to file a claim to recover pay on behalf of the class.
Restaurant Worker Unpaid Overtime Lawsuits
Call (855) 754-2795 or complete the Free Unpaid Overtime Case Review form on the top right of this page if you feel 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.