A woman who formerly worked as a LongHorn Steakhouse server has asked
a federal court for permission to modify her motion for a collective action
under the Fair Labor Standards Act following the court’s denial of her motion
in December 2012 on the ground that she lacked personal knowledge as
to practices at the company’s steakhouses across the country. Velez v. GMRI, Inc., No. 12-4857 (N.D. Ill., filed January 14, 2013). The suit involves claims that the defendant failed to pay minimum wages. As part of
her motion, the plaintiff seeks leave to amend her complaint “both to correct
the LongHorn corporate entities brought in as defendants, and to clarify the
claims brought under the collective procedure.”

According to the motion, “the only claim on which Plaintiff seeks collective
treatment is the claim that Defendants required tipped employees to perform
non-tipped duties while paid the tip-credit wage rate, in violation of the
minimum wage provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act [FLSA]. In their
answer, the LongHorn entities admit that the employer of the LongHorn
servers did take the tip-credit on wages paid to those employees. Because
servers unlawfully paid the tip-credit wage rate who worked overtime hours
would not have had their regular rate lawfully calculated, Plaintiff likewise
brings a collective claim under the maximum hours provisions of the FLSA.”
The plaintiff would also amend her complaint to limit notice of the action to
servers who worked at her restaurant.

About The Author

For decades, manufacturers, distributors and retailers at every link in the food chain have come to Shook, Hardy & Bacon to partner with a legal team that understands the issues they face in today's evolving food production industry. Shook attorneys work with some of the world's largest food, beverage and agribusiness companies to establish preventative measures, conduct internal audits, develop public relations strategies, and advance tort reform initiatives.

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