Louisville Labor Attorney Rob Shelton Files Lawsuit Against Applebee’s Over Wage Dispute

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Workers at Kentucky Applebee’s restaurant allegedly denied gratuities and pay dating back to 2008, according to attorney Rob Shelton, of Shelton Law Group.

Companies that violate state labor laws will be held accountable for their actions, and our firm is pleased that the state’s labor board is looking into these serious allegations.

Kentucky business dispute attorney Rob Shelton today announced that the Shelton Law Firm is hearing cases on behalf of restaurant workers who were denied the wages and tips they are entitled to receive under state and federal labor laws.

Shelton Law Group’s recent “tip sharing” complaint against Quality Restaurant Concepts, LLC is currently under investigation by the state’s Labor Cabinet Officials, according to a News Journal report (“State Labor Cabinet officials confirm investigation into Applebee's wage, tip practices,” October 30). Quality Restaurant Concepts is an Alabama company that owns a Corbin, Kentucky, Applebee’s restaurant that allegedly broke state and federal laws, according to the News Journal.

“Our firm is currently investigating claims that employees of this restaurant were illegally denied tips and wages in an unlawful manner dating back to 2008,” said Shelton. “Companies that violate state labor laws will be held accountable for their actions, and our firm is pleased that the state’s labor board is looking into these serious allegations. We are talking about a substantial amount of money for these employees.”

Shelton said that the lawsuit against Applebee’s was filed Oct. 15 in Whitley Circuit Court to protect the rights of workers at the restaurant, who were allegedly forced to surrender 20 percent of the tips they received for redistribution to non-tipped employees at the restaurant while receiving the hourly wage of $2.13 that’s reserved for employees who keep 100 percent of their tips.

Shelton said that many multi-state employers have an across-the-board policy on surrendering tips. He said it’s not illegal in many states, but it is in Kentucky.

The News Journal report stated that in response, the Kentucky Labor Cabinet’s Director of Communications, Daniel Lowery, said that the restaurant is being “scrutinized by investigators” for business practices that violate state labor laws.

“In the state of Kentucky, ‘tipped employees’ are subject to exemptions under state and federal law. Servers and wait staff who make over $30 per month in gratuities can be paid just $2.13 an hour, as opposed to the state’s minimum wage of $7.25,” said Shelton, a business dispute lawyer in Louisville. “When an employer pays a tipped employee an amount below the federal minimum wage and takes a portion of their tips as well, they’re breaking the law.”

He said the lawsuit is asking that all employees be awarded an extra $5.12 per hour they worked to bring them up to minimum wage and it seeks to return all tips taken by the restaurant for redistribution. The complaint also is asking for punitive damages, attorney fees and post- and pre-judgment interest.

The case was filed in Whitley Circuit Court. It is case number 13-C1-00687.

About the Shelton Law Group

Attorney Rob Shelton has a well-earned reputation as a Kentucky labor dispute lawyer who fights to protect the rights of those who have been subjected to unfair or unlawful treatment on the job. He has several years experience pursuing commercial litigation in business disputes and has represented clients in several lawsuits against restaurant chains over similar issues. He has been recognized by the Kentucky Trial Court Review since 1998 as one of Kentucky’s top 10 lawyers. Shelton also is a lifetime member of the Multi-Million Dollar Advocates Forum, a distinction reserved for a small percentage of trial lawyers nationwide who have obtained verdicts or settlements for clients totaling $2 million or more.

If you have questions about a labor dispute, call 888-761-7204 or complete the online contact form for a free case evaluation.

The Shelton Law Group
9300 Shelbyville Road, Ste. 215
Louisville, KY 40202

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