The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) is a complicated law and its standards are sometimes difficult to understand or with which to comply. Two workers at Steak n Shake restaurants in Georgia are suing the restaurant chain for allegedly failing to pay minimum wage and overtime pay to hourly employees. The employees filed the lawsuit in November in federal court in Georgia, and the suit seeks class-action status against the parent company, Steak n Shake Operations Incorporated.
The Georgia plaintiffs are currently employed by Steak n Shake, and they have worked in various positions in the restaurant. In order to not pay overtime, the company is accused of telling restaurant managers to adjust the hours of employees who had worked more than 40 hours. The plaintiffs also claim the restaurant chain failed to pay the appropriate minimum wage for servers who received tips from customers. Steak n Shake purportedly adjusted the weekly tips in a way that did not accurately reflect the amount earned by servers. The two plaintiffs have accused the restaurant chain of violating the FLSA and seek monetary damages for unpaid minimum and overtime wages.
In general, companies can guard against similar wage disputes by following state and federal wage and hour laws correctly. But these laws can be complex, and companies are often unsure whether they are in conformance with the applicable statutes. It is crucial that companies in the midst of such a civil suit gather all the facts they can about this area of labor law. Indeed, the right preparation may lead to a corporation being exonerated for any wrongdoing.
Source: Indianapolis Business Journal, "Steak n Shake hit with overtime lawsuit," Scott Olson, Dec. 1, 2011