My Photo

Twitter Updates

    follow me on Twitter

    October 2014

    Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
          1 2 3 4
    5 6 7 8 9 10 11
    12 13 14 15 16 17 18
    19 20 21 22 23 24 25
    26 27 28 29 30 31  

    « California Supreme Court Decision in Discover Bank Affirms Employees' Right To Bring Class Action Litigation | Main | DLSE Issues Precedent Decision on Wage/Penalty Issue »

    TrackBack

    TrackBack URL for this entry:
    http://www.typepad.com/services/trackback/6a00d83451c66069e200d83450345953ef

    Listed below are links to weblogs that reference Red Lobster and Olive Garden Employees Settle Meal and Rest Break Class Action For $9.5 Million:

    Comments

    mary

    CONGRATULATIONS!! Interesting that they 86'd Littler. Any thoughts about why?

    michael walsh

    We'll never know for sure, but it was shortly after the 4th District issued its appellate decision.

    http://wagelaw.typepad.com/RedLobster.pdf

    How and when will the employees receive money from the settlement?

    matt

    I don't believe this case. I know that when I worked there they were very concerned about breaks and that if we were there 1 minute more than six hours, we were required to take a break. Maybe this isn't the case at other OG's, but mine was definitely this way.

    michael walsh

    Notices on the Red Lobster/Olive Garden settlement went out on July 29. Payments will be in approximately 4 months. And if you no longer are denied breaks, that is good news. The first thing we did when the cases were filed three years ago was demand that practices change immediately, and that demand was largely met.

    Diana

    If you worked for OG, do you know how much money we should expect?

    Adam Cruseturner

    I have worked at the sacramento-citrus heights- Olive Garden for the past four years and I did not recieve my claims papers for the lawsuit that was filed - I was informed that Olive Garden had my previous(old) address on file. I would really appreciate if you could send me the claims papers that I need for this if possible - If not than could you please email me or call me and give me the phone number I need to call regarding this matter. Thank you , Adam Cruseturner
    Emlpoyee # 160 / Phone # (916)967-1035

    Sam Allen

    I worked for the Olive Garden in 2001 and have moved around quite a bit in the meantime. Does anyone know how I may obtain the proper forms to claim my compensation? Also, what (if any) receipts or records should I begin locating? Thanks!

    -Sam Allen

    Diana

    The Company handling the OG claim is
    Olive Garden Claims Administrator
    c/o Rosenthal & Company LLC
    P.o. Box 6177
    Novato, CA 94948-6177
    Telephone: 1-800-207-0343

    You have until the 12th of September to get your claim form in.

    Anonymous So. Cal.

    I was just wondering how the date in 1998 was chosen. Is it because that is the start date of one of the Plaintiffs? I worked there from 1996 to 2001 and the practice was the same throughout. I was actually told that if I wanted to eat, even if it was just a short break, I had to clock out or I would be in trouble. I knew the law regarding paid 10-minute breaks but didn't want to get fired for "insubordination".

    There was also a previous lawsuit in the '90s on the break issue. It's interesting that after that small settlement (I believe it was under $100k), the company still didn't change their policy.

    Anonymous SoCal

    I was just wondering how the date in 1998 was chosen. Is it because that is the start date of one of the Plaintiffs? I worked there from 1996 to 2001 and the practice was the same throughout. I was actually told that if I wanted to eat, even if it was just a short break, I had to clock out or I would be in trouble. I knew the law regarding paid 10-minute breaks but didn't want to get fired for "insubordination".

    There was also a previous lawsuit in the '90s on the break issue. It's interesting that after that small settlement (I believe it was under $100k), the company still didn't change their policy.

    J Red Lobster Torrance

    Great for servers in general, way ta' go servers. Havent worked as a server in over 4 years, but much respect to you all for puting up with management about our well deserved rights for labor breaks. Im finacially stable and will put much of my claim to good use like new orleans. I just recieved a claim verification form about a week before deadline. Call all your former and present co-servers/bartenders, I will. All the working class deserves a break, and furnished uniforms. Im now a union worker and I see the achievements in quality and service when we work together to make things proper. Great Job

    Kaaren

    I was employed by Darden Ind. For 7 years. I worked for the Olive Garden as a server and a trainer. I am shocked by this law suit that was brought to my attention after the fact. Darden has my address on file. In my 7 years of employment I found the Olive Garden to bend over backwards to accommodate my scheduling needs and always allowed my breaks. I would like to thank the Olive Garden and its management staff for offering me employment when I needed it.

    Rizzo

    Congratulations! I worked at Brea and Garden Grove RL. Live in Houston now. California is truly progressive. Servers are tipped employees here and are paid $2.13 an hour!!! No clue how that is even legal. Any good attorneys here in Houston?

    Olive Garden (Sac)

    This is so true what this person said::

    *****I worked there from 1996 to 2001 and the practice was the same throughout. I was actually told that if I wanted to eat, even if it was just a short break, I had to clock out or I would be in trouble. I knew the law regarding paid 10-minute breaks but didn't want to get fired for "insubordination".
    ************************************************
    This happened to me too. I have worked with OLIVE GARDEN (Sacramento County) since 1995, I never got breaks! I worked 8 to 10 hours a day, 6 days a week with no breaks at all. Im glad we are getting some money back only wished it was from 1995.

    Samantha

    So when Exactly do we get the check in the mail? I sent in my form shouldn't we have gotten the check by now?

    Joseph

    If I remember correctly, I read somewhere that checks are supposed to be sent out four months after the final settlement which occured in late June so if the facts as I recall them are accurate, we should be seeing something late October/ early November.
    Anyway, it's the question we all have on our minds, so thanks for speaking up. I look forward to being corrected.

    jam's mom

    I too worked for Olive Garden in a California store for a total of 9 years (FT the first 6 and PT the last 3). I think it was a great place to work, but like many places it had its down side. I think it all depends upon your GM, management staff and co workers. I wouldn't of stayed as long as I did if I wasn't happy. BUT there were issues with the breaks, ALWAYS! We would have to sneak away and hide in order to take one or find our own coverage while we ducked out to use the restroom. That part was ridiculous! Toward the end of the evening (after dinner rush) the management would be rushing you to complete your sidework and get off the clock. Management would be on the prowl looking for anyone sitting down, looking like they might be taking a break. So I am happy that some people had the guts to come forward and say this was wrong. Because of them many of us will be getting the money (or hopefully a good sum of it) for the time we were denied breaks. This is a small price to pay for a multi million dollar company that completely ignored the labor law.

    brad

    In the settlement section it said that checks will be mailed no later than Dec. 6, 2005. But the real question is how much money will each person get? Because I work there 6 years so I should get my full portion.

    Jezreel Burke

    Good work class counsel. Please hurry with my check as I developed anxiety disorder while working for the Olive Garden in Oceanside. I need to purchase my procac!!

    Jezreel Burke

    Good work class counsel. Please hurry with my check as I developed anxiety disorder while working for the Olive Garden in Oceanside. I need to purchase my procac!!

    OLIVE GARDEN (SACRAMENTO COUNTY)

    I just called 1-818-990-8300 they said you should have your check by FEB 2006 IF not they said call that #.

    Gary

    Quick question...does any one know what the exact breakdown is on the way they are paying you? Also will the clothing allowance be included in the same settlement or was that different.

    Charles Sloan

    Having worked for Red Lobster in Florida and a now closed Los Angeles-wilshire location; I found the Corporate practices to be negligent and abusive of staff. The customer was expected to eat at geasy tables and to accept the seafood scraps offered.The uniforms were indicative of a restaurant industry whose sole purpose is profit at the expense of everyone else. Darden and its' somewhat celebrity Board of directors are like slave drivers in what is a dark and shameful industry. Anyone who says they had a good time working there is sadly unaware.

    OLIVE GARDEN (SACRAMENTO COUNTY)

    If you have worked for them longer you will get more, its based on your hours worked. I was told they had to pay 1 hr break a day for every day you worked ??

    Heather O'Brien

    I am anxious to see how much we get but I hate to break it to everyone, it may not be that much. 9.5 million divided by over 40,000 people is less than $230.00 and then you have to subtract attourneys fees and court costs. And the people who filed the auctual claim get more of course. At the OG, we are divided into 3 classes, you may be meet one or more class peroids. CP1-03/24/99-12/31/00 you get 15.92% . CP2-01/01/01-04/30/02 you get 72.62%. CP3-05/01/02-06-28-05 you get 11.46%. Theres also claims administration expenses andemployer taxes deducted. So, there may not be that much money auctually haneded out to hard working employees. If someone can figure out the math please post! the attourneys fees by the way are 1200000.00 and attorneys costs are 12500.00.

    Heather O'Brien

    BTW, I called and was told checks would be mailed the 1st of DEC.

    Robyn Andrew

    That's only valid if all 40,000 people filed. Plus, it's not going to be divided like that. Some people will get far more than others, based on length of employment, time-frame of employment, etc.

    J Mcmillan

    If anyone receives a check, please advise. It seems that I keep coming across different time periods in which we will receive our checks. When I called, they said sometime after Dec. 4.

    Alexis McClellan

    I called this morning and my check was sent out today..

    mark gomez

    hey can anyone tell me what number to cal to find out information or anyone know how much they will be i worked there for only 16 weeks

    colleen

    well I got my check today 12-07-2005 I worked at red lobster almost 4yrs it was for 285.00

    Chris

    I got my check today, too. It was over $400. The average settlement, per person, after the lawyers got their share, was $485. Not bad, if you ask me.

    David

    Are you serious? Not bad? Maybe you didn't read above, so I posted it below.

    "Relief sought: Payment of up to one hour of pay per day for each meal period violation, and one hour of pay per day for each rest period violation, for employees who worked during the relevant time periods of February 1998 to June 2005; restitution for all hourly California employees who were denied paid rest breaks, or who were required to purchase uniforms or equipment, from February 1998 to June 2005"

    This is what I'm expecting:

    7.25 - min. wage (go figure, right)
    x 2
    ----
    =14.50 - meal/rest period violations per day
    x 5 - days a week
    ------
    =72.50 - meal/rest period violations per week
    x 32 - number of weeks employed by Olive Garden
    ------
    =2,320 - meal/rest period violation total

    Notice: This doesn't even include restitution for denied paid rest breaks, or the purchase and maintaining of my uniforms.

    If I get an "average" check for $485.00 I'm going to be sadly disappointed.

    By the way, for the "average" person receiving their "average" checks, by my calculations above, it would mean you worked just under 7 work weeks. Someone tell that to Colleen who worked at Red Lobster for four years and got a check for $285.00. How is that fair?

    My wife and I got our checks today, we worked there for the whole time period of the lawsuit and our checks were just over 1200. So I am assuming this is about the most you can expect if you worked from 1998 till 2004. It is good timing, right before christmas, thanks.

    RL Sac

    I got my check today for $182.99, Wow! I agree with David, this is very dissapointing. I was'nt expecting much anyway, since the amount of the lawsuit could in no way cover what employees were entitled to under the labor laws, but that is what we get for accepting the terms of the "class action suit". I worked for RL for 9 years, but only 2 1/2 years were durring the time period of the suit. For 9 years no breaks, no reimbursment for uniforms, but I got my $182.99. Next time there is a class action suit for anywhere I have worked I will not be a part of it and persue my own individual suit so that I can get everything I am entitled to. Well, I think it's a lesson learned for all of us. I am just glad I am not a part of Darden anymore.

    Sarah Parker

    Hey I think that although it may not be fair as to how much I was "entitled" to and how much I actually "received," I am still grateful I got something. For every dollar I received I had to think about it: I did not do anything to contribute to this lawsuit besides sign a piece of paper. Although I'm not a big fan of lawyers, one must think what would have happened if they did not win this case against such a monster corporation. I presume that then, I wouldn't of received a dime.....Just a thought...can't speak for everyone.

    I got my check also for 182.99, funny how the gentleman above and I can have the same exact check amount. What's even more interesting is that when you call Rosenthal about the payout the math doesn't add up based on what they say you are paid per week. Try this yourself and you'll see what I mean. Another accounting fraud if you ask me.

    cc

    I got my check today for $15.82. I worked for olive garden for 39 weeks. This is a joke. Thats about 50 cents a week.

    Robyn

    I got my check for $142.49 last night. Ummmm, not quite what I was expecting for almost 2 years of employment. The payout amounts seem almost arbitrary...like, why would I get 10x the amount as the employee above me? And why would I get about 1/3 of what the average settlement was figured to be? Must be that new math. :)

    Is there any recourse? Do we just take the settlement and be grateful that we ended up with anything at all?

    dan_james

    I asked. The settlement amounts were not arbitrary. The different times people worked mattered a lot. If you worked for the companies a long time ago, you got a lot less, because the law changed in 2001 and before then, there was no real remedy if the company screwed you out of your breaks. If you worked there after 2002, you got a lot less, because the companies started giving breaks and fired managers who they found out weren't giving breaks. That and the Supreme Court just said these cases are only good for one year back, so if you worked anything except 2001-2002, you should be glad you got anything at all. That and it looks like OG peeps got less than RL peeps because of some sort of difference between the cases that was never explained to me that well.

    Happy New Ipod Owner

    Get a grip people. We should be sending those servers a Christmas card this year. For years we all got shafted and we all sat there and took it. Then a couple of people stood up and got us all a bunch of money and everybody bitches?

    David is an idiot. It said "Relief sought: Payment of up to one hour of pay per day for each meal period violation, and one hour of pay per day for each rest period violation, for employees who worked during the relevant time periods of February 1998 to June 2005"

    That says "up to" not "at least".

    You only get one hour per day, no matter whether you miss a break or five breaks. You don't get any break by law unless you worked more than five hours. Lunch shifts almost never got that much. A.M. servers should feel lucky to get a dime. Also you don't get $7.25. We made $5.75 to $6.75 during those years, and if that doesn't even include restitution for denied paid rest breaks, what the heck do you think you were getting paid for in the first place?

    I got more money from this one than my friends did from the Macaroni Grill settlement, and I just bought a brand new ipod with my check and I have money left over. I am actually very happy it happened. What was I going to do, sue Red Lobster myself?

    Sarah

    AMEN ....

    David

    So I'm an idiot? Maybe I should be happy that I got anything at all. Maybe I should be grateful to the people that took it upon themselves to engage in a lawsuit against such a large company. But I'm not. I would have rather been in the dark concerning this whole matter. Why? Because now I am upset that I didn't know any better. I didn't know any better when I worked there that I should have been given "x" amount of breaks for so many hours worked. When denied those breaks I should have compensated for missing them. I'm upset that when I received the paperwork in the mail regarding the lawsuit I just assumed I would be fairly reimbursed for the crimes against me. And before you start in on how the wage laws were posted in a common area, save me the lecture. As much as I wanted to stay in the bathroom to read those wage laws, I didn't want to be known as the guy who spent all his time at work in the can. That's right; the common area at my work was the bathroom. Besides, even if they were posted on the front door, when was I supposed to have time to read them? This lawsuit was about denied rest breaks, remember? The way I see it, I was not fairly represented, and after doing the simple math I realize I was not fairly compensated either. Sure, the relief sought says "up to" not "at least." Why am I the idiot then for thinking I should be paid what I'm owed?

    This company broke the law in an effort to save some money. Had Olive Garden employed enough people to ensure breaks could be taken by all, then this there would be no basis for this lawsuit. Orders like this don’t come from a couple of rebel managers looking to save on employment costs. When the majority of RL and OG locations all have employees who share the same story, it only makes sense that this was upper management trying to save a buck. Because they didn't employ enough people think about how much money they saved. I'm sure it was much more than what this case settled for.

    Happy New Ipod Owner talks about how "For years we all got shafted and we all sat there and took it." Apparently you like being shafted. If you don't see that you've been shafted again you're the idiot.

    Jones

    This is so amusing to read. =The kicker is that we were all given the option of signing and taking part in this lawsuit or declining. As far as whether or not we wanted to take part in this lawsuit, correct me if I am wrong, but you people who are complaining about how much you got in the end, should have considered that before you signed that little slip and mailed it off. Now that you have already done so, stop bitching/complaining about whats fair and whats not, whats owed whats not! There is nothing you could do about it but learn your lesson, if your not happy-move on. Maybe next time you recieve a letter about engaging in a lawsuit, you will think twice before you sign it and mail it off!

    michael walsh

    An update from Michael Walsh before this comment thread is closed:

    For those of you who have comments about the Olive Garden settlement, I can offer no advice. My firm handled only the Red Lobster settlement. So far, out of more than 25,000 claimants, we have only heard from about 40 people who believe that the settlement was too small. To those people, we offer the following explanations:

    (1) The settlement was a compromise. It reflects a payment of less than 100% of the liability so that the company would have an incentive to pay the workers now, rather than fight the case to trial and the courts of appeal. Because it ended the lawsuit, it also eliminated the risk of a defense verdict or, just as bad for everyone but the named plaintiffs, an uncertified class, in which case only the two named plaintiffs get money. Though some people may have thought this was an easy case to certify and win, you may be surprised to learn that there has only been one other fully certified rest break class action in California (our TGI Friday's case). If the class doesn't get certified, more than 99.99% of the employees would get nothing.

    (2) The violation rate was not 100%. The meal breaks only become clear violations if employees worked over 6 hours. Many shifts were less than six hours. There were some workers who never exceeded six hours the entire time they worked for the restaurant. Moreover, some managers gave breaks, and many employees never attempted to take breaks. In some places, the employees actually complained when breaks were first finally given.

    (3) The statute of limitations on the hour of pay was reduced to one year. Unless the law changes, remedies for lost breaks more than one year before the filing date have become much less valuable than we had hoped. For meal breaks, there is no money value on the loss. On rest breaks, they are worth no more than about ten minutes pay. Many judges won't award anything beyond a year, and so far, the courts of appeal have never reversed any of those decisions.

    (4) The settlement did allow anyone who wanted to opt out to do so, to disclaim their share of the settlement, and to reserve the right to file their own lawsuit. A small number of workers did precisely that. They now have the right to sue Red Lobster. If successful, some of them may recover up to $1,000, maybe even more, if they defeat every defense, prove almost 200 shifts of 6 hours or more in the past year and prove that they did not get each break. In the class action, we offered an ability for class members to recover a compromised share (in cash, not coupons or other items of questionable value) with no time or risk on their part. The class members joined in unexpectedly high numbers.

    There were several other reasons why this settlement was in the best interests of the group as a whole, but I will not discuss all of those other reasons in a public forum. Suffice it to say that we are proud to have obtained the single largest settlement of such a case in the history of California jurisprudence.

    The comments to this entry are closed.

    Become a Fan

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button