College Chefs, LLC (Hourly-Paid Employees)
Defendant College Chefs, LLC provides meal service to college student residences, typically sororities and fraternities.
Position(s): Hourly-Paid Employees.
Location(s): Anywhere in the United States.
Time Period: August 2019 through the present.
The Claims in the Lawsuit
Violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”)
The Complaint alleges College Chefs, LLC maintained a common policy of failing to incorporate non-base compensation (such as weekly guarantee wages) into hourly-paid employees’ regular rates of pay, for purposes of calculating their hourly overtime rates. As a result, there were many weeks throughout the statutory period in which hourly-paid employees received an hourly rate of overtime hours of less than “one and one-half times their regular rate,” in violation of the FLSA.
Violations of the Wisconsin Wage Payment and Collection Laws and Wisconsin Administrative Code (“WWPCL”)
The Complaint alleges College Chefs, LLC failed to incorporate employees’ non-base compensation into their regular rates of pay, for purposes of calculating their hourly overtime rates. As a result, there were many weeks throughout the statutory period in which hourly-paid employees received an hourly rate for overtime hours of less than one and one-half times their regular rate, in violation of the Wisconsin Wage Payment and Collection Laws.
August 17, 2022: The case was filed in the United States District Court for the Central District of Illinois. The case has been assigned to the Honorable Colin Stirling Bruce.
How to Participate
To be eligible to recover unpaid wages under the FLSA as an hourly-paid employee within the last 3 years, you must complete a “Consent to Join” form, which you can obtain HERE.
There is a possibility the Court will certify the claims under the Wisconsin Wage Payment and Collection Laws and Wisconsin Administrative Code as a class action, on behalf of the following class of persons:
All current and former hourly-paid employees, who received overtime compensation and weekly guarantee wages, who worked for Defendant in Wisconsin at any time within three (3) years preceding the commencement of this action and the date of judgment (“Rule 23 Wisconsin Class”).
If a class is certified, persons who fall within the class will be notified they are covered and will automatically be included in this case unless they “opt out.” If you are interested in participating in this case or have further questions, please contact our office by emailing “FLSAGroup@jtblawgroup.com or calling (877) 561-0000.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can Defendant discipline or fire me if I join the case?
No! The Fair Labor Standards Act prohibits retaliation and imposes harsh measures against employers who retaliate. For further information, please consult the Department of Labor’s Fact Sheet.
Will I have to testify or provide documentary proof?
Not necessarily. Many employees obtain monetary recoveries in Fair Labor Standards Act cases without ever having to appear at court or for depositions.
You are not required to provide documentary proof of your unpaid wages. In most cases, the employer is required to provide the employee’s payroll records to the employee and his or her attorney. In fact, the Fair Labor Standards Act mandates that employers keep accurate time and payroll records. The employer cannot escape this duty by requiring you as the employee to provide proof.
However, it is still important that you preserve any physical or electronic evidence relating to the case that you currently possession.
Will Brown, LLC be my attorneys?
Employees who sign Retainer Agreements and/or Consent to Sue forms will be represented by Brown, LLC with respect to the lawsuit and claims described above.
You will not be required to pay any attorneys’ fees or court costs to the Plaintiffs’ lawyers at this time and not pay any attorneys’ fees unless you prevail. Rather, in the event the Plaintiffs prevail in the lawsuit, by either judgment or settlement, the Plaintiffs’ attorneys will request that the Court order Defendant(s) to pay the Plaintiffs’ lawyers their reasonable attorneys’ fees and reimburse them for any expenses.
How long will the case take?
It is very difficult to predict exactly how long a case will take. It depends on a variety of factors including the number of parties and claims involved, the rules and pace of the court, the complexity of the proofs, and the manner in which the employer defends the case.
When and if a settlement is reached, additional time is needed to prepare settlement documents, calculate settlement allocations, and seek and await the court’s review and approval of the settlement. Wage-and-hour cases typically take 2-3 years, but this can be shorter or increase considerably.