Darden Restaurants Class Action

Trief & Olk served as one of the lead plaintiffs’ attorneys in a collective action against the world’s largest full-service restaurant group, Darden Restaurants. Darden’s chains include Red Lobster, Olive Garden, Longhorn Steakhouse, Bahama Breeze, and Seasons 52.  The lawsuit alleged that Darden violated the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) by underpaying thousands of servers and bartenders across the country.  These violations included off-the-clock work, inappropriate use of tip credit wages, and unpaid overtime. For additional information, please visit DardenLawsuit.com.

All current or former servers at an Olive Garden, Red Lobster, Longhorn Steakhouse, Bahama Breeze, or Seasons 52 restaurants employed at any time from August 2009 to the present can learn about the resources and legal options available to them and participate in this case.

Specifically, plaintiffs alleged that they were required by Darden to work off-the-clock, both before and after their assigned shifts.  Plaintiffs also claimed that Darden directed them and other servers to perform work that would not generate tips such as general maintenance and preparatory duties (side work) without paying proper wages for such work, and that Darden failed to pay appropriate overtime wages.

Case Developments:

This case was filed in September 2012. On March 4, 2013, the Court issued an order preventing Defendants from questioning the named plaintiffs in this case without first contacting plaintiff’s counsel.  Plaintiffs filed their Second Amended Collective Action Complaint in April 2013.  On July 12, 2013, the Court granted Plaintiffs’ Motion for Conditional Certification for a nationwide class of servers and bartenders employed at Olive Garden, Red Lobster, Longhorn Steakhouse, Bahama Breeze and Seasons 52 between September 6, 2009 and September 6, 2012 . That same day, the Court required Darden to remove language from forms it was handing out to Darden employees with checks for back pay “to avoid unfairly affecting the litigation.”

In September 2014 the Court decertified the class.  The Court stayed the case as to the 50 named plaintiffs and directed them to arbitration.  The claims of those named plaintiffs are now pending before the American Arbitration Association (“AAA”).  In addition, more than 3,500 servers and bartenders decided to pursue their claims before the AAA and individual demands for arbitration were filed in the latter part of 2014 for each one of them.

To participate in this case visit DardenLawsuit.com.

View media coverage regarding the Darden Restaurants Class Action Law Suit:

  • More workers may join Darden lawsuit July 22, 2013
    Up to 300,000 current and former Darden Restaurants employees will be invited to join a lawsuit filed against the company last year alleging it underpaid servers. A federal judge earlier this month granted what’s called “conditional certification of a nationwide class” in the lawsuit, filed last year in Miami. Orlando-based Darden is being required to ...
  • Trief & Olk, Higer Lichter and Givner files proposed class action against Darden Restaurants June 13, 2013
    Trief & Olk is one of three firms that filed a proposed class action overtime lawsuit Wednesday against all restaurant chains owned by Darden Restaurants, including The Capital Grille, Longhorn Steakhouse, Olive Garden and Red Lobster. Darden is considered the world’s largest full-service restaurant group, with almost 170,000 employees.
  • More plaintiffs added to Darden Restaurants lawsuit over wages November 19, 2012
    A lawsuit alleging Darden Restaurants, Inc violated U.S. labor laws by underpaying servers at its Olive Garden and Red Lobster chains and other eateries has been expanded to include dozens of new plaintiffs, a lawyer said on Friday. The suit, filed in September in federal court in Miami, accuses one of the largest restaurant operators ...
  • Darden lawsuit expands to 50 plantiffs November 17, 2012
    A federal lawsuit alleging Orlando-based Darden Restaurants underpaid servers has been expanded from two plaintiffs to 50. The legal action now includes former and current employees at Darden’s restaurants across the country, including Bahama Breeze and Seasons 52. The lawsuit, filed in September in federal court in Miami…
  • Nasty customers and heartless managers September 18, 2012
    Kim Stahler was a waitress at a Red Lobster through most of the 1990s. She was so angry when she quit, she started a popular website called the Stained Apron, where restaurant servers of every stripe could air their seemingly endless frustrations about their jobs in often colorful ways.In a Miami federal court, the ...
  • Suits: eateries serve up pay abuses September 17, 2012
    From McDonald’s to Mario Batali, restaurant owners have forked over big bucks in recent years to settle lawsuits brought by workers who claimed they were illegally underpaid. Darden Restaurants, which owns Olive Garden, Red Lobster and the Capital Grille eateries in New York and across the country, is the latest to be hit with a ...
  • Darden Restaurants hit with lawsuit over wages September 7, 2012
    Darden Restaurants Inc, best known for its Olive Garden and Red Lobster chains, was hit with a lawsuit in federal court in Miami on Thursday accusing one of the largest U.S. restaurant operators of violating federal labor laws by underpaying workers at its popular eateries across the country. The lawsuit accuses the Orlando, Florida-based company ...
  • Olive Garden, Red Lobster workers sue company September 6, 2012
    Lawsuit contends the chain violated federal labor laws and underpaid thousands of employees across the country at Olive Garden, LongHorn Steakhouse, Red Lobster and other eateries, according to a lawsuit filed Thursday on behalf of the workers. The lawsuit filed in Miami federal court seeks to collectively represent current and past employees…
  • Olive Garden, Red Lobster hit with labor-law suit September 6, 2012
    Darden Restaurants violated federal labor laws by underpaying thousands of servers across the country at Olive Garden, LongHorn Steakhouse, Red Lobster and other eateries, according to a lawsuit filed Thursday on behalf of the workers. The lawsuit filed in Miami federal court seeks to collectively represent current and past employees…
  • Darden Restaurants hit with lawsuit over wages September 6, 2012
    Darden Restaurants Inc, best known for its Olive Garden and Red Lobster chains, was hit with a lawsuit in federal court in Miami on Thursday accusing one of the largest U.S. restaurant operators of violating federal labor laws by underpaying workers at its popular eateries across the country. The lawsuit accuses the Orlando, Florida-based company ...

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