Cotton Patch Café
On April 26, 2019, we filed a lawsuit against Cotton Patch Café alleging Cotton Patch illegally retained a portion of its servers’ tips in violation of federal law. Specifically, the lawsuit alleges 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. The lawsuit alleges that Cotton Patch’s “server’s assistants” are back-of-the-house employees and therefore, Cotton Patch violated federal law by requiring servers to share a portion of their tips with the server’s assistants.
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)]
Therefore, for each server who joins the lawsuit, the lawsuit seeks recovery of $5.12 per hour for each hour worked in the past three (3) years plus double this amount as “liquidated damages.” The lawsuit also seeks recovery of servers’ tips that Cotton Patch improperly retained or shared with server’s assistants plus an equal amount as liquidated damages. Finally, the lawsuit seeks recovery of the servers’ attorneys’ fees and costs.
April 26, 2019 – Complaint filed