Friday, March 19, 2010

Again: Hooters Workers File Class Action Over Tips, Uniforms




Five current and former Hooters workers filed suit Tuesday in Sacramento County Superior Court on behalf of a proposed class of nonmanager employees in five Central Valley franchises.

The complaint claims the restaurant chain workers were improperly forced to share tips with managers and to buy their own uniforms, among other alleged wage-and-hour violations. The workers are represented by Oakland solo Burton Boltuch and Morris Baller of Oakland's Goldstein, Demchak, Baller, Borgen & Dardarian.

Boltuch and Baller also represent plaintiffs in two other proposed class actions against Hooters in Alameda County Superior Court and Los Angeles County Superior Court.

The complaint filed in Sacramento makes 11 claims, focusing on the company's "Hooters Concept" and "Hooters System" as a set of "core" practices that violate wage-and-hour rights.

The Atlanta-based company did not immediately respond to a request for comment Wednesday.
The complaint draws heavily from the Hooters Employee Handbook to argue that workers' uniforms and manicured appearance form a "cornerstone" of the company, and that requiring them to pay for uniforms violates California wage-and-hour laws.

"The Hooter Girls have a uniform that they are required to wear," said Baller in an interview. "What's really shocking is that while they are given most but not all of the uniform when they report to work, when they have to replace it, they are required to buy their own uniforms from the company."


Kate Moser

03-19-2010

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