WASHINGTON, D.C. — A former employee at a popular Washington, D.C.-based Indian restaurant recently filed an unpaid overtime lawsuit against the owner, claiming he routinely worked well over 40 hours per week without any overtime wages.
The lawsuit asks for nearly $1 million in damages against the Knightsbridge Restaurant Group and its owner, Ashok Bajaj.
The plaintiff claims he worked for the defendant’s restaurant for eight-years from from 2007 to 2015, routinely putting in as many as 71 hours per week. His duties included working as a line cook in the kitchen but was labeled a sous chef and supervisor.
Typically, a sous chef works below and executive chef and is responsible for supervising and managing other kitchen staff. The plaintiff claims despite not fulfilling the legal definition as an overtime-exempt manager, he earned salaried wages without overtime.
According to reports, the plaintiff requested his hours be cut back but those pleas were rebuffed by management as inconsistent with how the restaurant industry does business. The former line cook is the only plaintiff named in the suit and is not seeking class action status for other plaintiffs to join at this point.
The plaintiff originally filed his suit in Washington, D.C. Superior Court but judges eventually moved the claim to U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia. The overtime pay suit is just the the latest in a series of legal troubles for the restaurant group. Last year, the same defendant settled an unpaid overtime lawsuit with a former server for $83,600 which included back pay and attorney’s fees.
Federal Wage Law Salary Requirements
Under the Fair Labor Standards Act, employees must meet certain criteria to be considered overtime exempt employees. Depending on the type of work, this may include managerial duties such as supervising, hiring, disciplining, and schedule creation for subordinate workers.
Under federal and state employment laws, employer cannot simply give an employee a job title that makes him or her overtime pay exempt. The employee’s actual duties must be consistent with federal and state statutes pertaining to salaried wages.
Restaurant Overtime Pay 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 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.