Employment Litigation

Trief & Olk, based in New York and New Jersey, represents employees and employers in actions under brought under the federal Fair Labor Standard Act (FLSA) and similar state laws, challenging unlawful wage and hour practices by employers, such as failing to pay minimum wages and overtime, both in individual cases and in collective and class actions.

Practices that violate federal and/or state law include the following:

  • Requiring employees to perform off-the-clock work, such as not permitting restaurant servers to clock in until they have guests at their first table at the start of a shift and forcing them to finish sidework tasks off-the-clock at the end of their shifts;
  • Requiring servers or bartenders to perform tasks that are unrelated to the job of being a server or bartender, such as washing dishes, preparing food, taking out the trash, cleaning restrooms, or undertaking weekly “deep cleaning” tasks;
  • Requiring servers or bartenders (or other employees paid the sub-minimum “tipped” wage) to spend excessive time (more than 20% of the work week) on non-tipped tasks – frequently referred to as “sidework” in the restaurant industry;
  • Failing to pay overtime for hours worked above 40 hours per week (and/or as required by state law);
  • Failing to provide rest or meal breaks required by state law; and
  • Classifying employees as “managers” despite the fact that these employees have little in the way of managerial duties or discretion, in order to avoid paying these employees overtime, which would otherwise be required for hours worked above 40 hours in a week.

Trief & Olk’s recent employment cases include:

  • Trief & Olk represented plaintiffs in a class action brought against Dispensing Dynamics International and staffing agencies whose employees worked at Dispensing Dynamics International’s California facility, including Staffing Network Holdings, LLC, Cornerstone Staffing Solutions, Inc., Dream Team Services, Inc., Aerotek Inc., Manufacturing Pros, LLC, and Priority Business Services, alleging violations of California’s state laws regarding mandatory meal and rest breaks. This matter, captioned Janet Williams v. Dispensing Dynamics International and Staffing Network LLC, Case No. BC 580335, was brought in 2015 in Los Angeles Superior Court in the State of California, and settled for $4 million, with payments benefiting approximately 3,400 class members.
  • A collective action against the world’s largest full-service restaurant group, Darden Restaurants, whose chains include Red Lobster, Olive Garden, Longhorn Steakhouse, Bahama Breeze, and Seasons 52. The lawsuit alleged violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), specifically off-the-clock work, inappropriate payment of the sub-minimum tip credit wage, and unpaid overtime. Thousands of claims are currently proceeding through the American Arbitration Association (“AAA”) on behalf of servers and bartenders employed at Darden Restaurants. Compensation for some of the claims has already been paid. For more information, see http://dardenlawsuit.com/.
  • A collective action filed against Carrabba’s, a subsidiary of Bloomin’ Brands, Inc. (the corporate parent of Outback Steakhouse, as well as Carrabba’s), alleging violations of the FLSA for failure to pay for time spent at home performing on-line training and inappropriate payment of the sub-minimum tip credit wage. For more information, see http://www.carrabbasclassaction.com/.
  • Collective actions against franchise owned Buffalo Wild Wings were recently settled by Trief & Olk for the full value of our clients’ damages.  The lawsuits alleged that franchised owned Buffalo Wild Wings restaurants throughout the tristate area were violating the Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”) and New York Labor Law (“NYLL”) by routinely requiring tipped-employees to perform non-tipped tasks in excess of 20% of their time, and to perform kitchen duties completely unrelated to their tipped occupation.

If you believe that you have a claim against an employer for failure to pay proper wages or other violations of federal or state wage and hour laws, feel free to contact Trief & Olk for a consultation.

Prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome.