On November 10, 2017, servers who formerly worked for The Copper Hen Cakery, LLC filed a class action lawsuit in Hennepin Country claiming violations of the Minnesota Fair Labor Standards Act (“MFLSA”). The Copper Hen is a local farm-to-table restaurant in Minneapolis that opened in 2014.
The servers who filed the lawsuit allege that The Copper Hen required them to share, or pool, a portion of their tips with other employees. Under the MFLSA, employees may voluntarily share tips, but employers may not require their direct-service employees to pool tips with indirect service employees. The servers accuse The Copper Hen of violating this provision of the MFLSA. The Complaint further alleges that as a result of its tip-pooling requirements, The Copper Hen denied servers the full amount of the gratuities they were entitled to under state law.
“Servers work hard for their tips and are rewarded for great customer service and attentiveness. It’s not fair or legal for their employers to use these tips to subsidize other wage payment obligations,” Plaintiff's attorney Rebekah L. Bailey of Nichols Kaster, PLLP explains.
The plaintiff-servers brought their case as a class action and seek to include all individuals employed as servers for The Copper Hen during the last three years. Their complaint pleads damages equal in amount to their diverted tips, liquidated (double) damages, and civil penalties, among other things, for themselves and the proposed class.
Plaintiffs are represented by Rebekah L. Bailey, Steven A. Smith, and Paige C. Fishman of Nichols Kaster, PLLP, which has offices in Minneapolis and San Francisco. The case is entitled, Dunham-Sunde and Sonaram et al. v. The Copper Hen Cakery, LLC d/b/a Copper Hen Cakery and Kitchen, 27-cv-17-17288 (Fourth Judicial District of Minnesota).
Additional information about the case may be found at www.nka.com or by calling Nichols Kaster, PLLP toll free at (877) 448-0492.