Compass Group USA, Inc., Chartwells School Dining Services and Compass 2K12 Services, LLC, are in the dining service industry serving food in universities and colleges in the academic community.
Position: Food Service Workers (including Cooks, Grill Cooks, Prep Cooks, Sr. Cooks, Food Svc Utility (a/k/a Utility Associates), Food Svc Workers and Food Svc Workers/Cashiers)
Location: Anywhere in the United States
Time Period: September 12, 2015 through present
The Claims in the Lawsuit
The complaint alleges that Defendants violated federal and state wage-and-hour laws in numerous ways, including:
Requiring Food Service Workers to perform their job duties off the clock before and after their scheduled shifts without pay;
Pressuring Food Service Workers to under report their time worked which resulted in not properly being compensated for time and work performed under forty (40) hours per week;
Failing to properly compensate Food Service Workers their overtime rate of one and one half (1.5) times their regular rate of pay; and
Failing to incorporate Food Service Workers’ time spent working at special functions and compensation paid therefore in the determination of their hours worked and “regular rate of pay,” for purposes of calculating their hourly overtime pay.
The complaint further alleges that Defendants’ managers would alter Food Service Workers timekeeping entries to eliminate the time worked. This is sometimes referred to as time-shaving.
September 12, 2018: the case was filed in the United States District Court for the District of New Jersey and has been assigned to Judge Claire C. Cecchi.
How to Participate
If you believe you are owed wages from the claims in the lawsuit, you can join the case by signing a “Consent to Sue” form, which you can obtain by clicking here.
Until the Consent to Sue form is filed with the Court, the statute of limitations ordinarily continues to run. The statute of limitations under the Fair Labor Standards Act is 2 years, and 3 years for willful violations. Thus, if you claim wages from 2 or more years ago, they may become unrecoverable if you delay in signing your Consent to Sue form.
If you choose to join this lawsuit, you will be bound by any judgment on any claim you may have under the Fair Labor Standards Act, whether favorable or unfavorable. This means that if you win, you may be eligible to share in the monetary award; if you lose, no money will be awarded and you will not be able to file another lawsuit regarding the matters raised in the lawsuit.
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.