BALTIMORE — Two former cooks who worked for Chef Bryan Voltaggio filed a suit against the chef and his corporations, Market Street Management, LLC and Volt II LLC, claiming that their rights under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) were violated. Voltaggio gained fame by winning the runner-up prize in the famous cooking competition show “Top Chef.” He is the co-owner and executive chef of five restaurants in Maryland.
The plaintiffs in this case claim that Voltaggio and his companies required cooks to perform “off-the-clock” work and to get to work as early as three hours before their scheduled shifts started. According to the lawsuit, cooks were also required to stay at work after their shifts were scheduled to end, and it was allegedly typical for the plaintiffs and other cooks to stay and work for an additional two to six hours. Additionally, the suit claims that cooks were prevented from “clocking in” and “clocking out” during the actual start and end of their shifts but were required to clock in and out according to their scheduled shifts.
Due to the practices of Voltaggio’s restaurants, the suit alleged that cooks were often cheated out of their deserved pay. Since they worked many hours off-the-clock, the plaintiffs claim they failed to receive minimum wage for each hour of work and were forced to work many hours that went unrecorded.
FLSA “Off the Clock” Claims
“Off the clock” claims under FLSA are claims by employees that they worked time for which the employer failed to properly credit them where the employer knew or had reason to know that the time was actually worked. These violations often result in the employee’s pay being reduced to below minimum wage, or the employee not being paid overtime. Proving a FLSA off the clock claim may include several pieces of evidence, including testimony of coworkers who observed them working off the clock, building entry and exit records, if available, computer sign-off and sign-on records, emails sent after hours from a work computer, telephone records of calls made after hours, etc.
Additionally, off the clock claims often intersect recordkeeping violations by an employer. When an employer is shown to have failed to maintain an accurate record of the employee’s hours worked, the employee will not be required to show with certainty the number of horus he or she actually worked.
Employers who force employees to work off the clock without proper compensation are liable for damages. You should 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 are being denied minimum wage and overtime when you are forced to work off the clock. 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.