A wage theft lawsuit filed by former employees of Wahlburgers, a restaurant chain opened by actor Mark Wahlberg and two of his brothers, alleges the chain illegally withheld wages and tips.
The restaurant chain was founded by the actor and his brothers, Donnie and Paul, five years ago and is at the center of an A&E reality television series. Paul, who is a chef, oversees day-to-day operations at the restaurant.
A class action lawsuit asserts that management at the New York Coney Island branch, which opened its doors last fall, was the site of “rampant wage theft and violations of federal and state employment laws.” Specifically, it is alleged the restaurant paid workers for fewer hours than they worked. Also, when they worked overtime, they were not paid time-and-a-half, as required by federal law. Finally, the restaurant is accused of unlawfully forcing servers to pool their tips to share with non-tipped staffers in the kitchen. The “back of the house” staff were paid regular wages, while “front of the house” servers received the minimum wages allowable for tipped workers (considerably less), without meeting the strict criteria that would enable an employer to apply that tip credit. The workers also assert that following a private event held for the cast of Blue Bloods, starring Donnie Wahlberg, the restaurant wrongly withheld the $3,000 tip left by the cast. Continue reading