Tacos al Suadero is a restaurant with three locations in Queens, New York, with the legal name of GAL Food Corporation. The complaint for this class action alleges that the restaurant and its owners did not pay employees for the overtime they worked, among other violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FSLA) and the New York Labor Law (NYLL).
The class for this collective and class action is all similarly-situated workers employed by the restaurant and its owners on or after November 14, 2015.
Plaintiff Vianey Ventura worked as a food packer and cashier at the Corona location of Tacos al Suadero from around January 14, 2017 through October 14, 2018. The complaint claims she worked fifty-four hours per week, from 10:00 am to 8:00 pm Fridays through Sundays and from 8:00 am to 8:00 pm on Mondays and Tuesdays.
However, the complaint says, the restaurant paid her only $30 per day, in cash, until the last four months, when it paid her $50 a day in cash. In addition, her work brought in $70 to $80 in tips per day, but these were pooled with the waiters, food packers, and cashier.
While the FLSA and NYLL allow tipped food service workers to be paid less than minimum wage, they require that the employers give the worker notice of this “tip credit” wage and allow the worker to keep all the tips they receive. The complaint says the restaurant did not give the Ventura notice of the tip credit; it looks as though she wasn’t allowed to keep all her tips either.
Ventura said she and other employees regularly or often worked more than forty hours a week, but they were not paid the required time-and-a-half for the overtime hours. In fact, it doesn’t appear that Ventura was paid for her overtime hours at all, since she was paid the same for each day regardless of how many hours she worked.
Also, the complaint claims that the restaurant did not provide Ventura with written notice of her pay and did not keep proper payroll records. Ventura was additionally required to buy seven t-shirts with the restaurant logo at $25 each, the complaint says, and was required to purchase her own apron.
The complaint makes claims under FLSA and NYLL laws, including minimum wage, overtime pay, and unpaid overtime rules, as well as spread of hours and record-keeping provisions. Also, the complaint considers the violations to be willful and intentional.