Frequently Asked Questions FAQ

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What is the Lawsuit About?

The Buffalo Wild Wings Minimum Wage Lawsuit challenges a long-standing practice in the restaurant industry that is alleged to be illegal: using tipped employees to perform non-tipped work while paying them the sub-minimum server wage. The lawsuit alleges that Buffalo Wild Wings restaurants owned and operated by Blazin Wings violated federal (and New York minimum wage law) by requiring servers and bartenders to perform improper types and amounts of non-tipped work while paying them less than minimum wage, such as:

  • sweeping, mopping, vacuuming, or deck scrubbing restaurant floors;
  • washing cups or glassware;
  • preparing food, such as slicing fruit;
  • rolling silverware; and
  • performing various opening, closing, and cleaning duties for more than 20% of their time worked.

The lawsuit is pleaded as a potential collective action under federal law and class action under New York law for New York employees. Tipped employees who filed or joined the lawsuit worked in Arizona, Georgia, Texas, Ohio, and New York.

Basic Information

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Can I join the lawsuit?

On March 18, 2016, the federal court granted Plaintiffs’ step-one motion for conditional certification of their nationwide claims for owed minimum wages arising under the federal Fair Labor Standards Act. The Court Order granting conditional certification covers more than 58,000 tipped employees employed by Blazin Wings.

You may join the lawsuit if you worked for a BWW location owned by Blazin Wings in the last three years and were paid the sub-minimum server wage, less than the full minimum wage. If you are a current or former BWW employee and were paid a subminimum wage, then you qualify to participate in the lawsuit.

What if I worked for Buffalo Wild Wings franchise, and not Blazin Wings?

We are currently working on other lawsuits and investigating the pay practices of Buffalo Wild Wings franchises. We recently successfully resolved the claims of over 1,000 Buffalo Wild Wings franchise employees working as tipped employees in Michigan, Indiana, Illinois and Florida for $1,800,000. If you worked for Buffalo Wild Wings franchise, please contact us.

Does it cost anything to contact your firm or obtain information?

No. There is no cost or obligation for contacting our legal team. Nor will we disclose to Buffalo Wild Wings any information without your consent that you give our legal team. However, no formal attorney-client relationship with us will be created by contacting us to discuss your claims.

Are there deadlines to participate?

Yes. Under state and federal laws that govern lawsuits for owed minimum wages, rules called the statutes of limitations may limit the amount of time you have to protect your rights. This means that it is possible that delay in taking action will reduce the amount of back wages that you might recover if the lawsuit is ultimately successful. If you are awarded money under federal law, you will likely be able to collect back wages only for the two or three years immediately prior to the date of filing your Consent Form with the Court. The statute of limitations for damages under state laws vary.

If you decide to take action to protect your rights, therefore, we encourage you to contact us as soon as possible. If you want to find out what, if anything, you may be owed, you should contact our legal team as soon as possible and submit the Information Sheet. If you want to join the lawsuit against Buffalo Wild Wings for unpaid wages, then you should complete and submit the Information Sheet. If you qualify for the lawsuit, we will immediately contact you and provide you a Consent Form to sign for you to join the case.

What is a collective action and who is involved?

In a collective action lawsuit, one or more people called “Named Plaintiffs” sue on behalf of other people who have similar claims. The people with similar claims together are a “Collective Action” or “Collective Action Members.” The individuals who sue—and all the Collective Action Members like them—are called the plaintiffs. The company that is sued (for example, in this lawsuit, Blazin Wings d/b/a Buffalo Wild Wings) is called the defendant. Unless each employee’s case ends up being tried separately, one Court resolves the issues for everyone in the Collective Action—except for those people who choose not participate in the collective or class action.

Has the Court decided who is right?

No. The Court has not yet decided if the employment and pay practices alleged to be unlawful in the Second Amended Complaint violate the law. Nor has the Court yet decided if BWW’s tipped employees have similar enough claims to allow all those claims to be combined in one case. This lawsuit is still in the very early stages, and, therefore, there is no money available now.

How did Buffalo Wild Wings allegedly not pay tipped employees correctly?

Plaintiffs have alleged that the pay practices at Buffalo Wild Wings restaurants owned by Blazin Wings violate federal and New York state minimum wage requirements. Specifically, Plaintiffs claim that BWW pays tipped employees (servers and bartenders) the sub-minimum server wage for improper types and amounts of non-tipped job duties, such as:

  • sweeping, mopping, vacuuming, or deck scrubbing restaurant floors;
  • washing cups or glassware;
  • preparing food, such as slicing fruit;
  • rolling silverware; and
  • performing various opening, closing, and cleaning duties for more than 20% of their time worked.

What types of jobs or job titles are involved?

In the Second Amended Complaint, Plaintiffs claim that BWW pays tipped employees, servers and bartenders, the sub-minimum server wage for duties unrelated to their tipped position.

Your Rights and Options

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How do I join the lawsuit?

To join the lawsuit you must sign and complete a Consent Form that we will provide you after you contact us and complete the Information Sheet. After your Consent Form is filed with the Court, you will join the other Buffalo Wild Wings employees who are seeking back wages that are allegedly owed to them under federal law. It is your own decision to join the lawsuit. Important: If you decide to participate in the lawsuit, you must save and preserve all documents and electronic files related to your employment with BWW.

IMPORTANT: If you are eligible to participate in the lawsuit but do not complete and return a Consent Form to us to be filed with the Court, then you will not be able to recover back wages from the federal claims in this lawsuit even if the lawsuit results in a monetary recovery.

Contacting us to discuss your situation does not automatically qualify you to participate in the lawsuit. You will not be a plaintiff in the lawsuit until we receive your Consent Form, we confirm that you qualify for the lawsuit, and we file your Consent Form with the Court.

What if I do nothing?

If you do nothing, then you will not participate in the federal claims in the lawsuit that has been filed. You will not be bound by any decision made in the lawsuit. Therefore, you will not be entitled to any recovery should there be any for the federal claims.

Can Buffalo Wild Wings take action against me if I participate in the lawsuit?

No. Federal law prevents any kind of retaliation against you if you decide to participate in the lawsuit.

Do I have to do anything to help out with the lawsuit once I join?

The lawyers will handle most of the presentation of the case. However, you may be expected to participate in pre-trial discovery or be asked to assist with the lawsuit. You may also be asked to answer questions from BWW’s lawyers prior to trial. If there is a trial, some plaintiffs may testify. Regardless, if you are asked to give information or assist, the attorneys will work with you so that the process is as convenient for you as possible.

What if I don’t have any time records?

It does not matter. The law requires Buffalo Wild Wings to keep accurate records of the number of hours an employee works. If the records are either not accurate or not in existence, your reasonable estimate of the number of hours you worked may be sufficient.

Do I need to pay any money?

No. There is no cost to you to participate in the lawsuit or discuss with us your situation and possible claims.

You will also not be charged any money upfront to participate in the lawsuit. You will never be asked to spend your own money for attorney fees or costs. Our legal fees are dependent on the outcome of the lawsuit. If we prevail in the lawsuit, then any legal fees will be paid by Buffalo Wild Wings, or approved by the Court and be paid out of a settlement fund. If there is no recovery, then you are not obligated to pay any fee or our costs.

If money damages or other benefits are awarded to the employees, then we will ask the Court to award us our legal fees and expenses. Typically, if a case settles, a portion of any settlement is approved by the Court to be paid to us to cover our attorneys’ fees. Costs of the lawsuit are also typically paid out of the settlement fund. Should the lawsuit go to trial, we would ask the Court to award to us our fees and costs from the damages determined by a final verdict.

Should I let others know about the lawsuit?

Yes. It’s important and helpful to our legal team that all current and former employees who worked at Buffalo Wild Wings locations owned by Blazin Wings in the last 3 years learn about the lawsuit as soon as possible because of the deadlines that may apply to any owed back wages.

Please let anyone else who might be interested in the lawsuit know about it so that they do not lose the opportunity to receive unpaid wages.

If the lawsuit is successful, how much money will I receive?

The amount you might be owed depends on the number of hours you worked within the applicable statute of limitations. The amount you might receive also depends on whether the case is settled or results in a judgment. Our team can provide you an estimate if you contact us.

When do I become represented by your law firm?

Our attorney-client relationship starts only after you decide to participate in the lawsuit and we file your Consent Form with the Court. If that occurs, our representation of you will be limited to the unpaid wage claims listed in the Second Amended Complaint filed with the Court. Even though a formal attorney-client relationship does not start until your Consent form is filed with the Court, our communications about your claims and potential representation will be kept confidential, including any information provided to us in your Information Sheet. Please contact us at 1-877-419-1008 if you have any questions.