What Can We Learn from Restaurant Lawsuits?

There is a lot to be learned from a discussion about famous lawsuits in the restaurant industry. Outlined below are a few prominent lawsuits that illustrate common issues in the food and beverages industry with strategies for dealing with these issues. Lawsuits involving wrongful termination or unpaid wages can be complex, but the attorneys at John J. Zidziunas & Associates have the experience necessary to handle these cases and they fight hard for clients dealing with these issues.

5.7 Million Dollar Awarded for Wrongful Termination

In 2013, four servers at the Cable’s Restaurant in Woodland Hills, California were awarded 5.7 million dollars in damages after they were let go from their serving jobs. The lawsuit alleged that the four servers were laid off because of their age, which ranged from 49 to 70 years old. These types of lawsuits are instructive because it’s important to remember that age discrimination is not allowed by federal law. If you believe you have been discriminated against because of your age, please call age discrimination attorneys at John J. Zidziunas & Associates.

Denny’s Denies Employee Reasonable Accommodation

Denny’s restaurant settled a lawsuit for 1.3 million dollars because they denied reasonable accommodation to an employee who had had her leg amputated. The employee wanted to return to work but the restaurant wouldn’t accommodate her disability and ultimately fired her from her position. The suit was filed by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. Employers must make reasonable accommodations for their employees with disabilities.

Employees File Suit for Unpaid Tips

Del Posto restaurant in New York City, which is owned by famous chef Mario Batali, settled a lawsuit for 1.15 million dollars after a group of employees contended the restaurant withheld some of their tips and denied them overtime pay. As part of the settlement, all non-managerial employees of Del Posto now receive 3 paid sick days and 5 paid vacation days per year. This is notable as many restaurant workers do not receive any paid sick or vacation time. Incidentally, in March of 2012 Mario Batali and his partner in another venture settled a similar lawsuit for 5.25 million after another set of employees (approximately 1,100) alleged their tips had been withheld. If you have gone through a similar situation, call John J. Zidziunas & Associates to speak with a labor law attorney.

Class Action Lawsuit for Unpaid Overtime

Ruby Tuesday restaurant settled an unpaid overtime lawsuit for 3 million dollars after nearly 4,000 employees joined a class action lawsuit. The employees alleged that the restaurant managers controlled the employee’s clock-in and clock-out procedure to the point that employees were forced to work off the clock to finish tasks. These employees were not allowed to clock in until after their first table arrived, resulting in the employees working off the clock for significant periods. These company-wide policies violated the Fair Labor Standards Act.

If you are facing similar issues, or if you have another labor or employment issue please call our office today. We are experienced labor law attorneys and we consistently advocate on behalf of restaurant workers who have been denied their wages, overtime, and reasonable accommodation requests. Conveniently located in North Bergen, call John J. Zidziunas & Associates at (973) 509-8500.
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