Recently over 80 restaurant workers and supporters from union and labor groups stormed into a well known steak restaurant during the dinner service, interrupting the power brokers and corporate hot shots who dine there to read aloud a letter to the management broadcasting allegations of discrimination and wage theft by the restaurant.This action makes this the tenth city where the former steak restaurant workers have added their names to a class action lawsuit. As an experienced trial attorney I have reviewed many cases of workplace issues and have completed same with favorable results.
The 97-page lawsuit filed in District Court claims that the restaurant neglected to pay employees overtime,wouldn’t provide workers with an accurate accounting of their time worked, and above all even failed to pay all of the wages earned by employees. In addition, the lawsuit claims that many African-American employees were passed over for promotional opportunities in the company or were fired without any reason given.Other charges include employees being told to punch out early and not being allowed necessary breaks. The majority of the restaurant workers involved in the lawsuit are of Haitian descent and are the so called back-of-house staff and claim they are required to come in to work while sick and constantly have their work hours reduced without explanation.This was confirmed by a former dishwasher at a restaurant in Baltimore.The employees spokesperson said that the organization was targeting the steak restaurant chain because many of the restaurant’s employees first came forward complaining of wage theft and discrimination in Washington D.C., New York, Chicago, Los Angeles,Baltimore and Miami.They then called the steak restaurant and were referred to the parent company. The restaurant spokesperson believes workers and their organization are conducting a smear campaign against his company. This is the exact same tactic that this group has used to deliver 5 previous letters to the company and each time, the letter is very non specific and states a laundry list of complaints against the restaurant. When the spokesperson for the restaurant attempted to contact the workers group they got no response, just a lawsuit.The restaurant spokesperson claims that all of the restaurants under their umbrella maintain a zero tolerance policy for acts of discrimination and that he believes the claims are baseless.The corporation which owns the steak restaurant also own 8 other restaurant chains and is the world’s largest full-service restaurant company employing over 200,000 people. the union representing the disgruntled workers is an organization with more than 10,000 members in 12 states and has won agreements totaling more than $6 million for restaurant workers who have been subject to illegal treatment by employers.
If you or a loved one has been a victim of workplace or racial discrimination call me at 800 320-0080 or email me or visit one of my conveniently located offices in either Rockville or Baltimore today.