According to the terms of the proposed agreement, the workers would get a pro rata share of the settlement based on the number of weeks they worked during the proposed class period.
The nationwide wage and hour class action lawsuit was brought by more than a dozen lead plaintiffs, alleging violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) and claims brought under the labor or unfair competition laws of nine states: California Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Illinois, Maryland, Michigan, New Jersey and New York. According to the lawsuit, the restaurant owners took a “tip credit” from the workers’ paychecks and paid them a reduced minimum wage, in violation of the FLSA and state laws s in this case. The workers also claimed that the restaurant owners failed to pay them all owed overtime and uniform-related expenses, misappropriated tips and took unlawful deductions for customer walkouts.
If the settlement agreement is approved, two classes of plaintiffs would be certified: a class of tipped workers who filed a written consent to join the litigation, and a class of tipped workers who worked in one of the nine states at issue in the suit and who did not file a timely consent to join the case. All eligible class members who submit a claims form will be paid a pro-rata portion of the net settlement based on the number of weeks they worked during the relevant period, court documents state.
According to the settlement memo, the estimated value of the unpaid wages is between $16.5 million and $91 million, representing between 20 percent and 115 percent of the estimated unpaid wages.
A hearing on the settlement’s preliminary approval has not yet been scheduled. The case is Julio Zorrilla et al. v. Carlson Restaurants Inc. et al., case number 1:14-cv-02740, in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York.