We participated in an initial mediation session last week with representatives of Main Street and Main, Inc., the largest franchisee of TGI Friday's restaurants in California. Main Street and Main broke the law by forcing employees to purchase uniforms until sometime in late 2002 or early 2003, and routinely prevented employees from taking meal or rest periods. Some 10,000 employees were affected. A pending motion for class certification is supported by more than 200 sworn declarations of current and former employees, including several managers.
The best offer submitted by Main Street and Main worked out to about $2 per employee, per month, over the course of the time period covered by the class action lawsuit filed in January 2003. The parties are still very far apart in their negotiations, and it appears likely that the case will proceed to a hearing on class certification next month.