Many wing lovers in Texas may be familiar with the Buffalo Wild Wings restaurant chain. The eatery has recently made headlines for alleged wage theft, including failure to provide overtime pay. Furthermore, the restaurant was allegedly making illegal deductions from the employees’ pay as well as committing other violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act. A former server for the restaurant has taken her complaint to court.
According to the lawsuit, the restaurant closes at 2 a.m., but employees were required to work for a significant amount of time past that. The plaintiff’s lawyer commented that the restaurants can be quite messy, including dirty restrooms from large bar crowds. The managers were allegedly clocking out the employees and requiring them to continue cleaning without pay. These hours were not counted toward overtime pay. The employees were purportedly also forced to attend company meetings unpaid.
It is claimed that Buffalo Wild Wings further violated the Fair Labor Standards Act by making illegal deductions from the employees’ pay. If customer walked out, and items were lost or stolen, the paychecks of the workers would allegedly be docked, causing them to be paid below the state minimum wage. Other violations include workers being paid at the wrong hourly rate and sometimes not at all for time spent cleaning before and after their shifts. Employees who spend 20 percent of their time doing non-tipped tasks must be paid at minimum wage instead of the standard rate for those earnings tips.
A statement was made by an advertising representative of the company’s local franchisee — ACI Group — about the wage theft allegations. He asserted that the company values its employees and does its best to provide a quality working environment for all employees. Many Texas workers are not fully aware of the rights they may have under the Fair Labor Standards Act to receive overtime pay and other compensation. Those who believe that their company may be engaging in illegal practices may consider taking their claims to court to attempt to recover lost wages.
Source: postandcourier.com, “Former server sues Buffalo Wild Wings in N. Charleston for wage theft”, Hanna Raskin, Nov. 13, 2015