Columbus, Ohio (Feb 12, 2024): We Be Wings, the franchise operator of 11 Roosters restaurants in Ohio, has reached a settlement with nearly 1,800 former and current employees for over $500,000 in unpaid wages. This comes after a class-action lawsuit filed in March 2023 alleged violations of minimum wage and overtime pay regulations.
The lawsuit, filed on behalf of servers and bartenders, claimed they were misclassified as tipped employees and forced to perform duties beyond serving customers, such as cleaning toilets and mopping floors. These tasks, when exceeding 20% of an employee’s time, legally require them to be classified as non-tipped employees with a higher minimum wage.
Furthermore, the lawsuit alleged improper deductions from paychecks and miscalculations of overtime pay, which were based on the lower tipped wage instead of the minimum wage.
While the settlement amount covers claims from workers at all 11 We Be Wings locations in Ohio, the issue extends beyond this franchisee. Roosters Restaurants operates a total of 43 locations across four states, with 28 being operated by independent franchisees and the rest as corporate units.
This case highlights the importance of proper employee classification and accurate wage calculations. It also serves as a reminder for workers to understand their rights and seek legal advice if they suspect wage violations.
Locations involved in the settlement:
- Columbus (Gemini Place)
- New Albany
- Washington Court House