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Red Lobster, Olive Garden Sued by Employees for Wage and Hour Violations

December 11, 2012

Darden Restaurants, the company behind the popular restaurants, Red Lobster, Olive Garden, and LongHorn Steakhouse, among others, was recently sued for violating federal labor laws by failing to properly pay their employees. The workers are seeking millions of dollars in back pay and other compensation from Darden, one of the largest restaurant operators in the country.

According to a new development that Vincent Howard has been following, the lawsuit, that was filed in September, has recently been expanded to include over fifty of new plaintiffs. The plaintiffs' attorney claims that since the lawsuit was filed, there has been a major response across the country from other current and former Darden workers.

Darden, the Orlando-based company, reportedly employs about 180,000 people in over 2,000 restaurants in North America, and is being accused of failing to adhere to the wage and hour provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), by failing to properly pay workers minimum wage and overtime compensation for hours worked beyond forty in a workweek.

Vincent Howard, who frequently discusses federal labor law, points to the minimum wage provisions of the FLSA, which mandates that covered employees must receive hourly minimum wage compensation of at least $7.25, plus overtime compensation of one and one-half their regular rates of payment for any hours worked beyond forty in work week, which includes any commissions, bonuses or incentive payments.

The wage and hour lawsuit against Darden claims that that employees who worked beyond 40 hours in a workweek, did not receive overtime compensation of one and one-half times their regular pay rate. Servers also reportedly arrived for their shifts as scheduled, but were forced to wait to punch in until after the customers started arriving. Some workers were also reportedly forced to clock out and continue working without receiving compensation, a violation of the FLSA.

The lawsuit seeks to represent a class of thousands of former or current employees dating back to August of 2009 who worked at Darden's restaurants, including Olive Garden, LongHorn Steakhouse, Bahamas Breeze, Red Lobster, Capital Grille and Seasons 52.

In September, Darden responded to the lawsuit by calling it "baseless." The company stated that the accusations go against the company's values and how they do business.

Contact Howard Law PC's labor and employment attorney Vincent Howard today, to discuss your Orange County, California wage and hour rights. Call toll-free at 1-800-872-5925 for a free consultation.

Red Lobster owner faces pay complaint, The News Tribune, September 7, 2012

More plaintiffs added to Darden Restaurants lawsuit over wages, Reuters, November 16, 2012

Related Web Resources:

U.S. Department of Labor: Wage and Hour Division (WHD), Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA)

Department of Labor (DOL): Wage and Hour Division (WHD)

California Department of Industrial Relations, (DIR)

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