Hospitality industry wary of pending FLSA suit

December 2007 Hospitality Law, Vol. 22, No. 12

Carolyn Richmond recently published her article, “Hospitality industry wary of pending FLSA suit” in the December 2007 edition of Hospitality Law. In the article, Richmond discusses the class action case Fast v. Applebee’s Int’l., 502 F. Supp.2d 996 (W.D. Mo. 2007), which highlights a high-stakes issue for restaurants. The case has “has given restaurants cause to rethink whether adding tasks to the job descriptions of tipped employees is even worth it.”

According to Richmond, “In June 2007, the court conditionally certified the case as a collective action under the FLSA, and the case is currently proceeding with respect to the tip-credit issue alone. In October, the magistrate judge ordered the parties to hold a mediation conference in February 2008.”

That action “poses a serious operational risk for restaurants, in that they will have to truly micromanage every shift and make sure they are evaluating the specific tasks performed by employees against rate of pay — literally by the minute.”