The suit claims, on behalf of plaintiffs Brooke Cardoza and Cody Hancock, along with all other similarly-situated employees of the company, that Outback Steakhouse requires unpaid work by employees prior to scheduled shifts (a period known as "Outback Time"), refuses paid and unpaid breaks, fails to pay employees for training sessions and mandatory company meetings and events, and even refuses to provide required time and opportunity for nursing mothers to express milk-all of which are violations of federal law.
Bloomin' Brands, Inc. owns and operates Outback Steakhouse, Carrabba's Italian Grill, Bonefish Grill, Roy's Restaurant, and Fleming's Prime Steakhouse & Wine Bar, and employs nearly 100,000 hourly employees at more than 1,400 restaurants nationwide.
Outback has claimed in public marketing materials that, "We'll break the rules to do what it takes to make sure we deliver a dining experience that's just right each and every time."
In this instance, Outback broke the wrong rules: Federal labor and employment laws designed to pay employees for their work, as is evidenced in several recent donning and doffing lawsuits.
"It's not easy at the moment for working people to find and keep a job, and these employees deserve their pay for the work they do," said Don Springmeyer, the Wolf Rifkin Shapiro attorney who filed the suit. Federal law does not allow Outback to force unpaid work or to short workers on overtime pay and this lawsuit gives their employees a way to fight back against the company's unlawful labor practices.
The lawsuit seeks back pay and penalties on behalf of a nationwide class of Outback Steakhouse and Bloomin' Brands employees.