On February 19, 2015, the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri, in the case of Harvill, et al. v. Phelps County Restaurant, LLC d/b/a Colton's Steak House & Grill, issued an Order conditionally certifying the case as a collective action pursuant to the Fair Labor Standards Act ("FLSA"), 29 U.S.C. Section 216(b). The lawsuit, filed on behalf of a class of servers, bartenders, and other tipped employees, alleges that Colton's maintained a tip pooling policy that violated the law by including improper tip pool participants, such as cooks and dishwashers that work in the "back of the house."
As part of granting conditional certification of the class, the Court certified a class of all persons employed by the Defendants within the last three years whose compensation included receiving tips and/or who participated in a tip pool or tip sharing arrangement. The Court ordered the Defendants to provide to Plaintiffs' counsel with a computer-readable list of all putative class members and their last known contact information, and directed that a class notice is to be distributed to all putative class members no later than March 5, 2015. Class members will have a period of 60 days, running from the date the class notice is mailed, to opt-in to the case, if they choose to do so. The Court also authorized Plaintiffs' counsel, Riggan Law Firm, LLC, to act as class counsel.
To read a copy of the Court's Order, click here.