The lawsuit was filed on behalf of Amanda Mathis, a Florida resident and former server at several Longhorn Steakhouse locations, and James Hamilton, a Virginia resident and former Olive Garden server in Georgia. In their lawsuit, the plaintiffs allege that servers such as themselves were paid less than the minimum wage and were not compensated for time they were required to work off the clock.
The lawsuit contends that Darden violated the Fair labor Standards Act by paying many of its servers below the applicable minimum wage, which can be as low as $2.13 an hour for tipped work and $7.25 an hour for non-tipped work. It also alleges that servers were required to work off the clock at the beginning and end of their shifts.
The proposed class seeks to represent current and former servers employed between August 2009 and the present. Darden is considered the world’s largest full-service restaurant group, with almost 170,000 employees. The Higer Lichter & Givner lawfirm is seeking representation of the class.