Il Fornaio (America) Corporation, a restaurant company, is currently facing a class action wage and hour lawsuit from everyone who has worked for the company as a non-exempt employee between February 1, 2007 and August 24, 2015.
A non-exempt employee is a worker who is entitled to overtime wages under the federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). The Act defines overtime as any time spent working after eight hours a day or forty hours a week. All non-exempt employees are entitled to one and one-half times their normal hourly rate for all overtime worked.
The Act allows some employees to be held exempt from the overtime mandate, but it is very specific about the types of employees that can qualify for the exemption. The law divides exempt employees into three categories: administrative, executive, and professional. The administrative category includes all employees who perform primarily office work and spend the majority of their time at work providing administrative assistance directly to an executive. An executive is defined as any employee who spends the majority of her time managing other employees. In order to qualify for the exemption, she must be able to discipline her employees and have significant say in the hiring and firing of those employees. The professional category covers all workers who require a particular set of skills or level of education in order to perform their job, such as performers and doctors.
In addition to the FLSA, each state has its own laws protecting the non-exempt employees that work within the state. California, for example, requires its employers to provide all its workers with regular breaks throughout the day. For every four hours an employee spends working, she is entitled to one paid rest break lasting at least ten minutes. For every five hours of work, she gets one unpaid, uninterrupted meal break lasting at least half an hour. For every day an employee misses one of these breaks, for any reason, she is entitled to one hour’s worth of wages, in addition to all wages earned that day.
California also requires all its employers to pay their workers in a timely manner, especially when a worker’s employment has been terminated. Under the law, employers are required to pay employees their full wages within 72 hours of termination of employment. If an employee provides at least 72 hours notice prior to termination of employment, then all wages are due upon termination.
The current wage and hour class action lawsuit against Il Fornaio alleges the restaurant company illegally failed to pay its nonexempt employees their wages in full, failed to pay them the proper overtime compensation when they worked more than forty hours a week, denied them their mandatory meal and rest breaks, failed to provide employees with accurate itemized wage statements, and made illegal deductions from employees’ pay.
Il Fornaio denies having done anything illegal, but has agreed to settle the wage and hour lawsuit for at least $1.5 million in order to avoid the hassle and expense of pursuing the dispute in court. The settlement will cover approximately 5,700 class members who may be eligible for payment under the settlement.
The Chicago class action lawyers at the Chicago Overtime Law Center are investigating unpaid overtime claims by waiters and bus boys and other restaurant and hotel workers against national restaurant chains including Hilton, W, Marriott, Sheraton, Holiday Inn, Best Western, Applebees, Chipotle, Red Lobster, Olive Garden, Cracker Barrel, Outback Steak House, Taco Bell, Burger King, Wendy’s and hotels for mis-classifying employees as managers or assistant managers, forcing employees to work off the clock at business, failing to share all tips, erasing or altering time sheets or time records, pressuring workers not to report or record overtime, and otherwise failing to pay workers for overtime and other wages. If you are the victim these wage theft practices call us at (312) 869-4095 or contact us online.
The Chicago class action attorneys at the Chicago Overtime Law Center have three decades of experience fighting to help employees who are victims of wage, overtime and tip theft by their employers. We have a team of Chicago unpaid overtime lawyers who concentrate on prosecuting state and nationwide class action lawsuits. Our attorneys work out of Chicago and Oak Brook offices and pursue claims for workers all over the Chicago area including Bollingbrook and Joliet. We protect unpaid workers who haven’t received overtime throughout the Chicago area including in DuPage, Lake, McHenry, Kane and Cook Counties.
Our Waukonda and Hillside overtime lawyers are intimately familiar with the issues that arise during wage claim litigation, and we know the laws that govern overtime cases well. Many employers mis-classify employees as being exempt from overtime laws and pay workers salaries instead of hourly wages in order to avoid paying them overtime. Some employers mistakenly classify employees as exempt and others intentionally do so in order to circumvent the law. In either case, workers do not receive the wages they should, and a lawsuit may be the only way to recover their earned wages.
The Chicago Overtime Law Center is based in Chicago, and represents clients throughout the country who have unpaid overtime and other employment right claims.