Fair Labor Standards Act Violations Alleged against Darden Restaurants

Author: Hans & Associates, P.C.

During tough economic times, restaurants of all sizes may be trying to squeeze more production out of employees. However, employees also feel the financial crunch.  Statistics show that employees have filed three times as many employment lawsuits in 2012 as they did in 2002.

The Fair Labor Standards Act has numerous regulations that restaurants must abide by, including wage and hour laws. Recently, various media outlets, including the NY Daily News  reported that Darden Restaurants, the corporation that owns and manages The Olive Garden, Red Lobster, Longhorn Steakhouse, and other well known restaurants faces a class action lawsuit brought by present and past employees.  These employees are suing for tens of millions of dollars in back pay, other compensation, interest on monies owed, and attorneys’ fees.  The plaintiffs allege that the restaurant engaged in violations such as the following:

  • Not allowing employees to clock in when they arrived on schedule but instead making them wait for customers to arrive
  • Requiring employees to work before and after assigned shifts
  • Not paying overtime wages
  • Requiring tipped workers to do side work instead of waiting on tables

As employees in the restaurant industry become increasingly litigious, restaurant owners must protect their interests by ensuring they comply with wage and hour laws. If you work closely with an experienced employment lawyer, you can put standard wage and hour practices in place and avoid employment problems, disputes, and lawsuits. For decades, our New York employment defense lawyers at Hans & Associates has helped business owners deal with employment issues.

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