Restaurant chain Ruby Tuesday faces a class action lawsuit filed by Charlene Craig, a Ruby Tuesday waitress, alleging that the company underpays its servers and bartenders. Additionally, the complaint states that the company has a corporate culture that encourages employees to work off the clock, reports the Times Free Press.
According to the lawsuit, tipped workers across the chain’s 658 restaurants were made to do ‘side work,’ such as cutting lemons, filling ice bins, and rolling silverware, while only being paid a server’s wage and not earning any tips.
Federal regulations mandate that servers and bartenders can spend up to 20 percent of their time on non-tipped duties and must be paid at least $7.25 an hour for anything more than that. Lawyer Chris Hall, whose firm filed the class action suit, said, “She's doing a whole lot of side work. It's over 20 percent.”
On company policy, which encourages employees to work off the clock without extra pay, Hall says, “A lot of times, the employees will say I'm just not going to clock in while I'm doing this side work. Management knows. It's kind of a wink-wink, everybody knows.”
Ruby Tuesday tells The Daily Meal, “While we cannot comment on pending litigation, we are committed to our Ruby Tuesday team members, and we will be providing a vigorous defense of the company on this matter in the appropriate forum.”