Cotton Patch Café Lawsuit
On April 26, 2019, we filed a lawsuit against Cotton Patch on behalf of a former server. The Cotton Patch lawsuit seeks to represent other servers who opt-in and affirmatively join the lawsuit. The lawsuit alleges that Cotton Patch illegally retained a portion of its servers’ tips and required its servers to perform “side-work” in violation of federal wage laws.
Specifically, lawsuit alleges that Cotton Patch illegally required its servers to share tips with “server’s assistants” who are back-of-the-house employees. It is illegal to require servers to share tips with back-of-the-house employees. Therefore, the lawsuit alleges that Cotton Patch violated federal law by requiring its servers to share a portion of their tips with the server’s assistants. The lawsuit also alleges that Cotton Patch illegally required its servers to perform side-work at the subminimum server wage of $2.13 per hour.
The lawsuit asks the Court to allow the action to proceed collectively on behalf of all current and former Cotton Patch servers who affirmatively opt-in to join the lawsuit.
The lawsuit alleges as a result of Cotton Patch’s illegal conduct, Cotton Patch is prevented from paying its servers the sub-minimum “server wage” and instead must pay each server who joins the lawsuit the full minimum wage for each hour worked in the past three (3) years. [i.e. Cotton Patch must pay each server $5.12 for each hour worked, which is the difference between the server wage ($2.13) and the full minimum wage ($7.25)]
The lawsuit seeks recovery for each server who affirmatively opts-in and joins the lawsuit. The lawsuit seeks recovery of the servers’ unpaid wages at the rate of $5.12 per hour for each hour worked at Cotton Patch in the past three (3) years plus double this amount as “liquidated damages.” The lawsuit also seeks recovery of the servers’ tips that Cotton Patch illegally retained or shared with server’s assistants plus an equal amount as liquidated damages. Finally, the Cotton Patch lawsuit seeks recovery of the servers’ attorneys’ fees and costs.
May 23, 2019 – Answer filed
Cotton Patch filed an Answer, stating its intention to defend the claims asserted in this lawsuit.
April 26, 2019 – Complaint filed