This website provides information about the Alequin v. Darden Restaurants, Inc. case. This lawsuit claims that Darden Restaurants, Inc. and its related companies (“Darden”) failed to pay proper wages or overtime pay to its tipped employees, such as servers, as required under the federal Fair Labor Standards Act.
In this lawsuit, Darden’s current and former servers and bartenders from the restaurants listed have joined together to seek back wages owed to them for the time spent doing general maintenance or preparatory duties, which they performed for less than minimum wage:
- Olive Garden
- Red Lobster
- Longhorn Steakhouse
- Bahama Breeze
- Seasons 52
Specifically, the 54 named Plaintiffs allege that Darden required them and other servers to perform work while off-the-clock. Plaintiffs claim that they were required to report to work and begin work at the start of their scheduled shifts, but were not allowed to clock into Darden’s time card system until their first customers arrived. Similarly, Plaintiffs assert that they were required to punch out of Darden’s time card system and continue working until their assigned tasks were finished. As a result, Plaintiffs allege that Darden did not pay them significant amounts of wages to which they are entitled.
Plaintiffs also allege that Darden paid them wages below the applicable minimum wage, due to their status as tipped employees. Plaintiffs expected to make up the difference by working for tips from customers. However, Plaintiffs claim that Darden directed them and other servers to perform significant duties that would not generate tips such as general maintenance and preparatory work without paying proper wages for such work. Plaintiffs assert that, as a result of the nature and scope of these non-tipped duties, Plaintiffs were entitled to receive, but Darden did not pay, the full applicable minimum wage.
The Second Amended Complaint also alleges that Darden has retaliated against certain named Plaintiffs by either terminating or taking negative action against them as a result of filing this lawsuit.
Over 19,000 current and former Darden servers and bartenders have joined this action.