SERVING THE GREATER PHILADELPHIA AREA AND BEYOND
This lawsuit seeks to recover unpaid wages for servers who worked at Mastro's Steakhouses located across the country. The restaurant paid the servers 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 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.
In this lawsuit, the servers allege that Mastro's broke the rules by requiring them to share tips with restaurant wine runners and baristas. According to the servers, the wine runners and baristas did not significantly interact with the customers and, as a result, Mastro's should have paid the servers the full minimum wage plus tips. It is anticipated that Mastro's will deny violating any laws. The Judge has not decided who will win.
If you worked for Mastro's as a server anytime during the past three years, you can join the lawsuit by completing and returning the CONSENT FORM available below. We recommend that, before completing the form, you call us at (215) 866-1551 so we can answer any questions you have and make sure you are eligible to participate in the lawsuit. More information and case updates are available below:
FEB 15, 2018
Today, our firm along with co-counsel filed a class and collective action lawsuit against Mastro's Steakhouse in the Superior Court for the District of Columbia. A copy of the Complaint is available below.
MAR 29, 2018
Today Defendant removed this case from the state court for the District of Columbia to the federal court for the District of Columbia.
APR 25, 2018
Today, the Defendant filed an Answer to the Complaint. In the Answer, Defendant denies violating the law and asserts that its pay practices are legal. You can access the Answer below.
JUN 3, 2018
Today we filed a motion for conditional certification with the Court. The motion asks the Court to order Defendant to provide a list of servers who worked at each of their restaurants during the last three years so that then can be mailed a notice informing them of this lawsuit and their right to participate in it. A copy of the motion package is available below. We expect the Court to rule on this motion in the next few months.
JUN 14, 2018
Today Defendant filed a motion seeking to compel this case to arbitration on an individual basis. A copy of Defendant's motion can be accessed below.
JUL 9, 2018
Today we filed an opposition to the motion to compel arbitration on an individual basis. A copy of our opposition package is available below. We expect the Court to rule on this motion in the next few months.
OCT 24, 2018
We are excited to announce that the federal judge overseeing this lawsuit issued an order today granting our motion to conditionally certify a collective in this case consisting of “All employees who worked as servers and received an hourly wage less than $7.25 an hour at any Mastro’s location in the United States from May 22, 2015 to the present." A court-approved notice will be mailed to these servers in the coming weeks giving them the opportunity to join this case. In this same order, the judge also denied Mastro's attempt to compel this case to arbitration. A copy of the Court's order and opinion are available below.
FEB 20, 2019
The deadline for servers to join the lawsuit has now passed. We are very pleased that a total of 82 individuals have joined the lawsuit. We look forward to representing these individuals in the months ahead.
JAN 14, 2020
Today, the Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia heard oral arguments on an appeal taken by the Restaurant. Audio of the oral argument is available here: https://www.cadc.uscourts.gov/recordings/recordings2019.nsf/75B011FCA1844998852584EF00578F57/$file/18-7167.mp3
MAR 17, 2020
We are excited to announce that today the Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia issued an opinion affirming the decision of the district court to deny the restaurant's efforts to compel this case to arbitration. A copy of the Court's opinion is available below. The case will now return to the district court for further proceedings.
JUN 9, 2020
Today the district court issued an order setting forth a schedule for the litigation.
JUN 23, 2021
For questions about the status of this case, please call (215) 866-1551.
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