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Punch Bowl Social

Owen and Belgarde v. Punch Bowl Minneapolis, LLC
27-CV-19-4740 (Fourth Judicial District of Minnesota)

On March 27, 2019, a server and bartender filed a class action lawsuit against Punch Bowl Minneapolis, LLC (“Punch Bowl”), alleging violations of the Minnesota Fair Labor Standards Act (MFLSA).  The employees allege that Punch Bowl unlawfully required its servers and bartenders to contribute a portion of their tips to a tip pool that was, in part, distributed to other employees in violation of the MFLSA.

The Complaint alleges that as a result of its tip-pooling requirements, Punch Bowl denied servers and bartenders the full amount of the gratuities they were entitled to under state law.  The plaintiffs brought their case as a class action and seek to include all individuals employed as servers and bartenders for Punch Bowl in Minnesota during the last three years.  The named Plaintiffs, and members of the Putative Class, seek damages equal to their diverted tips or gratuities, liquidated damages, and civil penalties.  

Type of Case

Unlawful Tip-Pooling

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Am I eligible?

You may have a claim under Minnesota state law if you worked for Punch Bowl as a server or bartender at any time during the last three years and were required to share, or pool, a portion of your tips with other employees.

Case Updates

  • April 4, 2019

    Server and Bartender Represented by Nichols Kaster, PLLP, Files Class Action Lawsuit Against Punch Bowl Social Alleging Minnesota Tip-Pooling Violations

    Last week, a server and bartender filed a class action lawsuit against Punch Bowl Minneapolis, LLC, alleging violations of the Minnesota Fair Labor Standards Act (MFLSA).  The employees allege that Punch Bowl unlawfully required its servers and bartenders to contribute a portion of their tips to a tip pool that was, in part, distributed to other employees in violation of the MFLSA. 

    The Complaint alleges that as a result of its tip-pooling requirements, Punch Bowl denied servers and bartenders the full amount of the gratuities they were entitled to under state law.  The plaintiffs brought their case as a class action and seek to include all individuals employed as servers and bartenders for Punch Bowl in Minnesota during the last three years. 

    Plaintiffs are represented by Reena I. Desai and Jay E. Eidsness from Nichols Kaster, PLLP.  The case is entitled, Owen and Belgarde v. Punch Bowl Minneapolis, LLC, 27-CV-19-4740 (Fourth Judicial District of Minnesota).

    Additional information about the case may be found at www.nka.com or by calling Nichols Kaster, PLLP at (612) 256-3200. 

    Photo by Shangyou Shi on Unsplash

Additional Information

Is This a Class Action? What Does that Mean?

This case is a potential class action under Minnesota state law. A class action allows one or more people to sue on behalf of themselves and other people who have similar claims. To proceed as a group, though, the Court must certify the class. Because we are in the early stages of the case, this has not happened yet, but we intend to seek the company’s agreement or file the motion at the appropriate time asking the Court to grant class certification.

How Do I Join This Case?

At this point, you do not need to do anything to participate in the lawsuit. If the Court certifies the case as a class action, you will receive a formal notice about the lawsuit and will have the option to opt-out if you are not interested in making a claim. Otherwise, if you do not opt-out, you will automatically be included as a class member.

What Time Frame Does This Case Cover?

There is a time limit, called a statute of limitations, which allows workers to recover wages within two years of the date a lawsuit is filed with the Court. If we can prove that Punch Bowl willfully violated the law, the statute of limitations may be extended to three years.

Do I Have To Pay Anything?

No, if the case is certified, you will not have to pay us anything out of your own pocket.  We are handling this case on a contingency basis. This means we will only be paid if the lawsuit is successful in obtaining relief either through a settlement or an award, and that payment will only come out of that settlement or award. 

How Do I Prove I Have a Claim?

If you have records related to the days/hours you worked, gratuities you earned and/or were required to share with other employees, or any other records related to your employment with Punch Bowl, please preserve and keep them.. However, you do not need to have records to participate in this case. We will seek any records the company may have related to claims at issue in this lawsuit.

What About Retaliation?

It is against the law for an employer to retaliate against a person for participating in a lawsuit to reclaim unpaid wages. If you suffer retaliation, you may have additional claims. If you work for Punch Bowl and you believe you may be the victim of retaliation for participating in this lawsuit, contact us immediately.

How Long Will This Case Take?

The length of this kind of lawsuit varies from case to case, but they typically last one to three years

Is There Money Available Now?

No. This is a pending lawsuit. There is no money currently available and there is no guarantee that you will receive money for participating in the lawsuit.

How Can I Help?

If you have information regarding the tip-pooling practices/requirements at Punch Bowl, please contact the case clerk, Dan Burnett at dburnett@nka.com or call directly at (612) 256-3219.

How Do I Learn More?

To learn more about this case feel free to contact the case clerk, Dan Burnett, at dburnett@nka.com or call (612) 256-3219.

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