Water Street Brewery Class Action:
Water Street Brewery – a local restaurant and microbrewery in the Milwaukee area- has agreed to settle a class-action lawsuit for $825,000 filed by it’s servers. The Class alleges that the brewery has violated the state and federal wage-and-hour laws at not one, but all four of the company’s four locations, according to a press release from a Ohio based law office, Hawks Quindel.
In late 2016, Angela Brandt, a former employee (server) of the Water Street Brewery, sued the company alleging that its servers had not been paid minimum wage because of various suspicious payroll practices. These practices included requiring servers to share tips with certain employees, pay for discarded coasters, discarded silverware, and broken dishes from their tips. The lawsuit also alleged that if the hourly paid servers worked more than 40 hours per week, they did not receive overtime pay.
Water Street Brewery has denied violating the law at any of it’s four locations.
Jennifer Walther, an attorney for Water Street Brewery, said in a statement: “While the law can result in technical violations, Water Street Brewery asserts its employees never received pay below the minimum wage.” She continued to state: “Water Street Brewery is committed to providing well-paying jobs with total compensation exceeding the minimum wage.”
If the court approves, the settlement will resolve the wage claims made under Wisconsin law by 1,195 current and former servers, all who worked for any of the four locations of Water Street Brewery restaurant in the past two years. The settlement will also resolve claims under federal law of 78 people who joined the class action suit. Larry Johnson, an attorney for the plaintiffs, said in a statement: “This is an excellent result for the Wisconsin class, as well as the 78 individuals who are recovering additional money.”
Under the settlement, Angela Brandt (former employee that made the original claim) would receive an enhanced payment of $15,000 for bringing the initial claim, and six other former or current servers will receive an enhanced payment of $1,000 for the assistance they provided during the lawsuit. Angela Brandt also would receive $13,726.30 to settle claims that her hours were reduced after she refused to pay for discarded items (coasters, silverware and broken dishes) out of her tips and then told her manager that the company’s practice in place was unfair and illegal.
The other members of the class and current servers would receive a total of $483,231.71 in the settlement and the attorneys representing the servers would receive $275,000 under the proposed settlement.
Contact Jones Brown PLLC:
This kind of flagrant abuse of employees is far more common than you may realize. Companies seem to share the feeling that people are so happy to even have a job, that they will put up with almost anything to keep their job. This is not the case. A seasoned and experienced employment lawyer from the Law Offices of Jones Brown Law can advise you as to what you are entitled to as a working man or woman.
Employment law governs the rights and responsibilities between employers and employees. Most of the laws and statutes that fall under employee law are meant to protect the employee from unfair and unsafe working conditions, but they also help to protect employers.
One large section of employment law deals with the “At Will” Presumption. In nearly every state in the US, it is presumed that both employer and employee are working together voluntarily, and can terminate their working relationship at any time, and for almost any reason.
Working environments can be chaotic and complex. The law offices of Jones Brown wants to make sure you are aware of your rights as an employee or employer. If you feel you have been wrongfully treated at work or on a job, our experienced attorneys know exactly what to do. Here are some common examples of employment law:
- Collective bargaining
- Employment discrimination
- Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA)
- Unemployment compensation
- Workplace safety
- Worker’s compensation