Quaker Steak & Lube Restaurants / JDK Management

Quaker Steak & Lube Restaurants / JDK management


This lawsuit seeks to recover unpaid wages for restaurant servers who worked for at the Quaker Steak and Lube restaurants in York and Mechanicsburg, PA. The restaurants paid the servers a combination of (i) an hourly wage of $2.83 and (ii) customer tips. Federal and Pennsylvania wage laws require that most workers receive a minimum wage of $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 the tips may not be shared with restaurant employees who do not interact with customers. That's why its generally illegal for restaurants to allow tips to be shared with "back-of-the-house" kitchen workers.

In this lawsuit, the servers allege that the Quaker Steak restaurants broke the rules by requiring them to share tips with Expediters who spend most of their time "traying" food orders. According to the servers, the Expediters did not significantly interact with the customers and, as a result, the restaurants should have paid the servers $7.25/hour plus all tips. The restaurants deny violating any laws.

As discussed below, this lawsuit is no longer open because the 101 servers we represent have reached a settlement with the restaurants. The settlement has been presented to the Judge for his review and approval. Like all settlement, the settlement of this lawsuit represents a compromise. In settling the lawsuit, the restaurants do not admit to violating any laws.

Case Updates

AUG 1, 2016

Today, our firm started this lawsuit in the Federal Court in Harrisburg, PA on behalf of servers at Quaker Steak & Lube restaurants operated by JDK Management Company. As discussed above, the lawsuit challenges the company's practice of requiring servers at the York and Mechanicsburg restaurants to share tips with Expediters. The lawsuit asserts claims under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) and the Pennsylvania Minimum Wage Act (PMWA). A copy of the Complaint is available below.

SEP 16, 2016

Today the restaurants filed an Answer to the Complaint. The restaurants deny violating any laws. A copy of the Answer is available below.

NOV 9, 2016

We are pleased that, earlier today, the Judge "conditionally certified" the York servers' collective action claims. As a result, servers from the York restaurant will be notified of the lawsuit and given an opportunity to join.

DEC 28, 2016

Today, the Judge issued a scheduling order (copy available below) for the remainder of the lawsuit. The discovery deadline is currently set for May 31, 2017.

APR 10, 2017

Today, the Judge "conditionally certified" the Mechanicsburg servers' collective action claims. As a result, servers from the Mechanicsburg restaurant will be notified of the lawsuit and given an opportunity to join.

MAY 30, 2017

Today, the Judge issued a revised scheduling order for the litigation. A copy of this order can be accessed below. Some of the important deadlines include: (i) an August 30, 2017 deadline for the completion of discovery; (ii) an October 2, 2017 deadline for dispositive motions; and (iii) putting this case on the February 2018 trial list.

SEP 6, 2017

Today, the Judge issued an order scheduling jury selection for February 5, 2018 in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.

SEP 19, 2017

Today, the Judge issued an order authorizing that a final notice giving servers who worked at the Mechanicsburg and York restaurants between August 2013 and August 2016 one last chance to joint his lawsuit. The 66 servers who previously joined this lawsuit do not need to complete any additional paperwork do anything further. However, any servers who fail to respond to this new notice will be unable to participate in this case and potentially recover if it is ultimately successful.

DEC 1, 2017

The period for individuals to join this lawsuit has now closed. The lawsuit will be limited to the 101 servers who have joined this case by submitting Consent to Join forms.

DEC 19, 2017

We are happy to announce that the parties have reached an agreement to settle this lawsuit on behalf of the 101 servers who joined the lawsuit by the deadline. The settlement represents a compromise, and, in settling the lawsuit, the restaurants do not admit to violating any laws. The settlement will not become final unless and until the Judge reviews it and concludes that it is fair.

JAN 30, 2018

Today, we filed a motion asking the Judge to approve the settlement as fair and reasonable. If the Judge approves the settlement, we will move forward with the process of getting settlement payments to our 101 hard-working clients. If you are a client and have questions about the settlement, please call us at (215) 866-1551.

FEB 5, 2018

Today, Judge John E. Jones, III of the Middle District of Pennsylvania approved a $185,000 collective action settlement for servers at Quaker Steak & Lube Restaurants in Mechanicsburg and York Pennsylvania. A copy of this order can be accessed below.

Case Documents

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  • “Have significant experience in similar matters under the [Pennsylvania Minimum Wage Act]” - Torres v. Brandsafway Indus. LLC, 2023 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 10631, at *8 (W.D. Pa. Jan. 20, 2023).
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