Harvest Restaurant – Moorestown, NJ
Harvest Restaurant - Moorestown, NJ
This lawsuit seeks to recover unpaid wages for servers and bartenders who worked at the Harvest restaurant in Moorestown, NJ. The restaurant paid the servers/bartenders a combination of an hourly wage plus customer tips. The federal minimum wage law generally requires that workers receive a minimum wage of at least $7.25/hour. However, in paying servers, bartenders, busboys, and other "tipped employees," restaurants are allowed to take credit for some of the tips that restaurant customers pay to the servers and other tipped employees. This "tip credit" provides a big benefit to restaurants.
But, in order to take advantage of the "tip credit," restaurants must follow some strict rules. One rules is that customer tips may not be shared with restaurant employees who do not interact with customers. That's why its generally illegal for restaurants to require servers and bartenders to share tips with "back-of-the-house" kitchen workers.
In this lawsuit, the servers and bartenders allege that Harvest broke the rules by requiring them to share tips with restaurant Expediters. According to our clients, Expediters did not significantly interact with the customers and, as a result, Harvest should have paid the servers/bartenders the full $7.25/hour minimum wage plus tips. Harvest disagrees and contends that Expediters often interacted with customers. The Judge has not decided who will win.
As discussed below, this lawsuit is no longer open because the parties have reached a settlement that is going to be presented to the Judge for approval. The settlement represents a compromise, and, in settling the lawsuit, Harvest does not admit to violating any laws.
JAN 26, 2017
Today, our firm started this lawsuit by filing a Complaint with the Federal Court in Camden, NJ. A copy of the Complaint is available below.
MAR 8, 2017
Today, our firm filed a motion asking the Judge to approve a plan whereby individuals who worked at the Moorestown restaurant as servers or bartenders will be notified of the lawsuit and given an opportunity to join. A copy of this motion -- called a "conditional certification" motion -- is available below.
APR 3, 2017
Today, Harvest's lawyers informed the Judge they will not oppose our motion for Conditional Certification. We are happy about this development and look forward to notifying the servers and bartenders of the lawsuit.
APR 11, 2017
Today, Harvest filed an Answer to the Complaint. In the Answer, Harvest denies violating the law and asserts that its pay practices are entirely legal. You can access the Answer below.
JUL 5, 2017
Today was the deadline for individuals who worked at the restaurant to join the lawsuit.
JUL 25, 2017
Today, a Federal Magistrate Judge held a scheduling conference to set a schedule for the rest of this lawsuit. At the conclusion of the conference, the Judge issued a scheduling order which can be accessed below. One of the notable dates in the scheduling order is the December 15, 2017 deadline for the discovery phase to end.
DEC 13, 2017
Today, the Federal Magistrate Judge presided over a settlement conference. After hours of negotiations, the parties were able to reach a settlement to resolve this lawsuit on behalf of the 45 servers and bartenders who are covered by the case. The parties will spend the next several weeks finalizing the settlement documents and ultimately filing a motion asking the Judge to approval the settlement as fair and reasonable. If you are a client and have questions about the settlement, please call (215) 866-1551.
MAR 13, 2018
Today we are pleased to announce that we have filed a Motion with the Court seeking approval of the settlement of this lawsuit.
JUN 28, 2018
Today the federal magistrate judge overseeing this lawsuit issued an order scheduling a hearing on July 24, 2018 on our motion for approval of the settlement. A copy of this order is available below.
JUL 24, 2018
Today we participated in a hearing in Camden, NJ on our motion for approval of the FLSA collective action settlement. At the end of the hearing, the Judge announced that he would be approving the settlement. A copy of the order that was issued on this motion is available below.
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