Case: Suarez et al.v. Rosa Mexicano Brands Inc.et.al; case number 1:16-cv-05464, in U.S District Court for Southern District of New York.
Multiple former employees of Rosa Mexicano have requested that the New York federal court approve a $3.6 Million settlement agreement in their nationwide class action proposal. The class action group against Rosa Mexicano accused the affluent Mexican chain restaurant of neglecting to pay appropriate amounts on both minimum wages and overtime rates.
Six former employees of Rosa Mexicano sought preliminary approval from the courts and conditional certification of the class action, stated that the presented FLSA settlement provides resolution of all similar State Law and federal Fair Labor Standards Acts (FLSA) claims made in the collective and class action against Rosa Mexicano Brands Inc and related affiliates.
According to the supporting memorandum written on behalf of the former employees by their legal counsel, the settlement is reasonable, fair and accurate under nine factors set forth in the 1974 Second Ruling in Detroit v. Grinnell Corp. Inclusive factors of the case include litigation expenses, the complexity of the case, liability establishing risk, maintenance of class action and estimating damages.
Representing close to forty percent of the class members alleged damages, the $3.6 million figure represents a significant percentage of recovery that the plaintiffs are entitled to, should they have prevailed on all claims lodged and survived the appeals process.
Class members in New York will be awarded $1.19 million – the majority of the settlement fund and the remaining $1.11 million will be well received by members in other states or separate FLSA class. One-third of the settlement will be recovered by the representing legal counsel to recover litigation expenses and attorney fees.
Former service employees from Rosa Mexicano had sued in July 2016 and claimed that the upmarket chain had failed to pay minimum wages and overtime, and by doing so violated federal and state labor laws.
The service employees included bussers, food runners and servers at several Rosa Mexicano branches in Massachusetts, New York, and other various locations and alleged that the chain was illegally opting to reduce labor costs by paying service employees at a tipped minimum wage rate. Rosa Mexicano chain in 12 out of 14 U.S. locations paid employees at the tipped minimum wage rate despite failing to meet legal labor requirements under the FLSA, Massachusetts and New York Labor Code wage and hour laws.
Former workers alleged that the chain failed to notify them of tip credit provisions, did not take into consideration automatic gratuity when calculating overtime pay, and forced employees to share tips with other non-service employees who were not eligible for tips. The latter is commonly referred to as a tip credit violation. The worker’s group also claimed the restaurant failed to pay the required overtime rate of time and a half their regular hourly wage for all hours worked over the standard 40-hour working week.
Rosa Mexicano currently has 12 chains in U.S locations from New York City, Washington D.C, Boston, Miami to Georgia. Rosa Mexicano restaurants are also in Puerto Rico and the United Arab Emirates but the lawsuit only specified U.S. locations.