A lawsuit filed on behalf of current and former Wild Wing Café employees claims that the restaurant chain shortchanged its workers.
Spartanburg-based attorney John Reckenbeil filed the class action suit in federal court. The suit seeks to collect unpaid wages for employees who plaintiffs allege did not receive minimum wages and overtime pay.
Claims include that Wild Wing Café failed to pay two servers at its Spartanburg location the appropriate minimum wages for the hours they worked, improperly calculated overtime wages for hours in excess of 40 hours per week, and improperly denied to pay all wages owed to the workers.
According to the lawsuit, the plaintiffs received $2.13 to $5 hourly wages and were expected to receive enough tips to make at least minimum wage.
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Wild Wing, according to the suit, forced servers to share their tips with bartenders, food runners, and expeditors — who organized customers' food orders. The expeditors are part of the kitchen staff and are not legally considered "tipped employees" and are "forbidden from receiving tips directly from other tipped employees," according to the suit.
Because of the alleged practice, Wild Wing cannot "avail themselves of the tip credit provisions of the FLSA (Fair Labor Standards Act)," the lawsuit claims.
Wild Wing also miscalculated the overtime rates for all servers who worked more than 40 hour per week and should have received an overtime rate at 1.5 times the minimum wage, according to the suit.
The plaintiffs seek an injunction against Wild Wing from engaging in such practices, awards of unpaid minimum and overtime wages, restitution and other damages.
"This is about corporate greed," Reckenbeil said.
He said that the company is "exploiting" people who don't know their legal rights, including young people and college students.
Calls to the Wild Wing Café home office for comment were not returned.