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Philadelphia Sports Bar To Pay Millions In Back Wages To Servers

March 4th, 2014
sports bar

Chickie’s & Pete’s, the well-known sports bar and restaurant with locations throughout the Philadelphia and South Jersey area, has found itself in hot water with the Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division.  Following a yearlong tipped employee investigation, the Department of Labor has reached an agreement with Chickie’s and Pete’s that will result in over $6.8 million in back wages and damages being paid to over 1100 current and former employees working at nine of the restaurant chain’s locations.  This is the largest tipped employee back wage claim ever settled by the Department of Labor and has significant implications for all the country’s restaurant workers.

Servers and other tipped employees such as bartenders were required to pay a percentage of the amount of table sales into the tip pool at the end of each shift.  The investigation revealed an illegal practice at the restaurant chain involving the improper retention of 60% of the servers’ tip pool by the restaurant.  The Department of Labor found violations of federal minimum wage, overtime and record keeping requirements of the Fair Labor Standards Act.

Under federal law, restaurant and bar employers may pay their servers and other tipped employees a reduced minimum wage of $2.13 per hour pursuant to a “tip credit.”  When an employer willfully violates federal labor statutes, the employer may no longer claim the tip credit but instead must pay its servers the full federal minimum wage of $7.25 per hour.  Since the restaurant chain violated federal labor statutes with its improper retention of a portion of the tip pool, Chickie’s & Pete’s must now pay back those employees back wages at the higher federal minimum wage rate.  The consent judgment also includes training and compliance monitoring requirements.

In addition to the government action, over 90 former employees also filed a separate private lawsuit against the restaurant chain. Those workers will be receiving over 1.6 million dollars in back wages and liquidated damages as well as attorney costs and fees.

The Philadelphia Employment Lawyers at Sidney L. Gold & Associates Handle Wage & Hour Disputes

If you feel you’ve been treated unfairly by your employer and have a potential wage and hour claim, the experienced Philadelphia employment lawyers at Sidney L. Gold & Associates can assist you in obtaining the full compensation to which you are entitled. Our attorneys have handled countless claims involving federal and state labor statutes, including the Fair Labor Standards Act.  In addition to back wages, you may be entitled to liquidated damages and attorney fees and costs.  With offices conveniently located in Center City, Philadelphia, we serve clients throughout Pennsylvania and New Jersey.  For more information about the Chickie’s & Pete’s settlement, or to discuss any potential employment claim, call our law offices today at 215-569-1999 or contact us online.

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