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Restaurant accused of not paying its kitchen staff overtime

The way in which employees are classified can directly impact how they are paid. Certain classes of workers are exempt from being paid overtime under the law, but these classifications must be tied correctly to the appropriate employees. When Florida employees are not classified properly, they may approach their employer for any unpaid overtime to which they believe they are entitled.

A sports bar chain in another state is being accused of forcing employees to work overtime without being paid because of how they are classified as workers. A former kitchen manager claims that he -- as well as others in similar positions -- were not paid for overtime. According to his complaint, the kitchen staff would regularly work over 60 hours a week. This practice has been allegedly been going on for the last three years. The lawsuit contends that the company intentionally did not pay the overtime in an attempt to make more profits and decrease payroll costs.

The issue with the classification is that apparently the kitchen managers and cooks do not have supervisory roles that might otherwise make them exempt from overtime. Those employees are allegedly not responsible for the regular daily operations of the restaurant in the same manner as general and assistant managers. By giving them a managerial title, it is claimed that the company was simply trying to avoid the payment of overtime.

The restaurant alleges that it paid the plaintiff in good faith, and on top of his $43,000 annual salary, he also received bonuses and paid vacations. The defendant requested that the case be dismissed, and the former manager awarded nothing. Florida workers in similar situations who cannot find a resolution may choose to pursue legal actions. If the claims are successfully navigated, the employees may receive unpaid overtime as well as any other financial remedies ordered by the court. The court may also order that the classification of all employees be changed to be in accordance with the law and to prevent future avuse.

Source: sacbee.com, "Lawsuit claims Bully's lists cooks as execs to dodge OT", Scott Sonner, Feb. 27, 2015

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