Three former servers have filed a lawsuit against The Chimes, alleging that managers and owners of the restaurant pressured them to work without pay for multiple hours every week.
The lawsuit filed by Karly Kyzar, Sarah Little and Elizabeth Pruitt claims that the managers and owners of the restaurant are aware of the “thousands of uncompensated hours worked by their servers.”
“Over the years, their scheme has resulted in a huge savings in labor costs for The Chimes, enriching defendants at the direct expense of their employees,” lawyers Daniel Davis, Randall Estes and Vivian Jeansonne from Estes Davis Law LLC state in the suit.
The lawsuit mentions that the position of a server at The Chimes is a greatly desired job because servers can often make $150 or more in tips during a single shift.
“Knowing this, the defendants hatched a scheme to reduce their labor costs by pressuring servers to perform most of their non-tippable work ‘off the clock,’ before and after each meal shift,” the suit explains.
When Kyzer, Little and Pruitt were hired, they were told that they couldn’t work on the clock for more than 40 hours in one work week.
The lawsuit says that the plaintiffs were told that “if they wished to maximize the number of lunch and dinner shifts that they could work in a single week, they would have to perform their mandatory pre- and post-shift work off the clock.”
According to the suit, servers were required to arrive an hour before their lunch shift to perform their side work, including rolling silverware and moving tables and chairs into place. Once their shift ended, servers had to work anywhere from 45 minutes to an hour cleaning the restaurant, rolling silverware and filling the sauce bottles.
“To maximize the number of tipped shifts they could work, plaintiffs were encouraged not to clock in when they arrived at 10:00 a.m., but to wait until they were assigned their first table to clock in,” the suit argues. “This would normally be anywhere between 11:00 a.m. and 11:30 a.m.”