Waitress files class action claiming Cafe Gecko failed to pay minimum wage

Michelle Massey Feb. 24, 2010, 2:47am

SHERMAN-Waitresses Tabatha Green claims The Colony's restaurant, Cafe Gecko, violated the Federal Labor Standards Act by requiring its waiters and servers to participate in a tip pool which was shared with members of management.

Representing a proposed class of waiters and servers, Green filed a lawsuit against her employer in the community north of Dallas and the restaurant's owner, Dennis C. Dial, on Feb. 18 in the Sherman Division of the Eastern District of Texas.

Although the plaintiff and the other servers were paid a direct wage of $3 per hour and received tips, the plaintiff alleges they were required to contribute to a tip pool, making their pay less than the full statutory minimum wage of $7.25 an hour.

Green states that the mandatory tip pool was shared with other restaurant employees, including management, in violation of the FLSA.

The plaintiff in the proposed class action is seeking the difference between the amount paid by Cafe Gecko and the full statutory minimum wage for each hour worked, an equal amount of liquidated damages, attorneys' fees and costs.

If approved, the class will include all waiters and servers employed by Cafe Gecko in the past three years.

Houston attorney Robert Debes Jr. of Debes Law Firm is representing the proposed class.

U.S. District Judge Richard A. Schell is assigned to the litigation.

Case No 4:10cv00067

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