A class action lawsuit was filed on February 21, 2017, against Hospitality Ventures, LLC d/b/a Umstead Hotel and Spa; SAS Institute, Inc.; and NC Culinary Ventures, LLC d/b/a Ãn Asian Cuisine (referred collectively as “Defendants”). On June 3, 2021, U.S. District Judge Louise W. Flanagan approved collective/class certification on the claim that Defendants did indeed require their servers, server assistances, runners, and bartenders to participate in the restaurants’ illegal mandatory tip pool and failed to pay minimum wages and overtime as due, in violation of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) and North Carolina Wage and Hour Act (NCWHA).
The lawsuit, Tom v. Hospitality Ventures, LLC, et al., asserts that Defendants (1) failed to pay their hourly and customarily tipped employees all of their earned and accrued wages and benefits, including, but not limited to, illegally withheld tips as part of their wages, any minimum, straight, or overtime wages, PTO earnings, and benefits, on their regular pay date, or, as promised, part of their last paycheck, on February 10, 2017; and (2) required these employees to contribute a portion of their wages/tips to Defendants’ illegal tip pool which included non-tipped employees. Plaintiff seeks back pay wages and liquidated damages for themselves and all other former employees who worked for Defendants since February 21, 2014.
Plaintiffs are represented by attorneys from The Law Offices of Gilda A. Hernandez, PLLC
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Is This a Class Action? What Does that Mean?
This case is both a class action under state law and a collective action under federal law. Both class and collective actions provide a mechanism for a group of workers with similar claims to litigate those claims together in one case, and both require Court approval to proceed on a class basis. The federal claims proceed under a collective action which only includes individuals who consent to join the case, as described below. The state claims only apply to the specific states for which claims have been asserted, North Carolina, and will include all workers within those states who fall within the class definition.
Am I Eligible for the Federal FLSA Claim?
You may have a claim under the federal law if you (a) were an hourly paid and customarily tipped employee who worked for Defendants since February 21, 2014 until the closure of the restaurant, Ãn Asian Cuisine Restaurant, on approximately January 30, 2017; or (b) were required to participate in the restaurants’ illegal mandatory tip pool.
In order to make a claim, please complete a consent form and return it to our office. You may also call our offices at (919) 741-8693 to receive a link to a fillable version via AdobeSign.
Tom v. Hospitality Ventures Opt Out Form
If you wish to opt out or exclude yourself from this lawsuit, please fill out the “opt out” form.
Tom v. Hospitality Ventures Notice
For a full understanding of this lawsuit and how it affects your rights, please see the attached Notice of Lawsuit.