In late November 2011, two Steak 'n Shake employees filed suit in a Georgia federal court against the Stake 'n Shake restaurant chain. Stake 'n Shake has nearly 500 locations in 22 states and is a wholly owned subsidiary of Biglari Holdings, Inc.
Justin Beecher and Priscilla Cain filed the suit. They are current Steak 'n Shake employees, working as servers and server trainers at one of the chain's Georgia locations. In the suit, they accuse the restaurant chain's managers of collaborating with store management to alter electronic records in order to deny employeesminimum wage and overtime pay. According to the complaint, this resulted in several ongoing violations of the federal In the suit, the employees allege a management scheme to alter electronic records in the company's computer system. According to the complaint, Steak 'n Shake's computers keep track of weekly hours worked and customer tips received. To avoid paying minimum wage, management allegedly increased the recorded amount of customer tips over what the employees actually received. This decreased the "minimum wage differential"--the difference between tips and minimum wage--that employers are responsible for paying under the minimum wage requirements of the FLSA.
According to the employees, the alterations of computer records left a trail of evidence. The complaint states that all of the changes were recorded in an audit report compiled by Steak 'n Shake's timekeeping software. Additionally, the complaint alleges that numerous e-mails between company managers discussed the planned computer alterations and their goal of depriving the employees of their rightful pay.
<a data-cke-saved-href="http://www.dol.gov/whd/flsa/" href="http://www.dol.gov/whd/flsa/" target="_blank>Fair Labor Standards Act</a> (" flsa").="" the="" flsa="" requires="" that="" employers="" pay="" eligible="" employees="" at="" least="" $7.30="" per="" hour.="" when="" work="" more="" than="" forty="" hours="" in="" a="" week,="" entitles="" them="" to="" time-and-half="" for="" extra="" hours.The suit, filed as a putative class action, seeks to represent all hourly employees of any Steak 'n Shake location who were denied minimum wage or overtime compensation since November 2008. The stakes of the suit are expected to rise as current and former Steak 'n Shake employees opt into the litigation.
The employees desire a declaration that Steak 'n Shake's pay practices violated the law, and an order that Steak 'n Shake to pay the employees back wages, liquidated damages, and attorneys' fees.
If you believe your rights to fair pay have been violated, or if you want to learn more about your rights, you should contact a Missouri wage and hour attorney.