Could Dinosaur Bar-B-Que Be Going Extinct?

BBQ joint in hot water

A New York-based BBQ restaurant chain has had a lawsuit filed against them claiming that unfair wages are being paid to specific employees. The suit against the popular Dinosaur Bar-B-Que restaurant was filed as a class action lawsuit in Federal Court in New York City by Fitapelli & Schaffer law firm. Fitapelli & Schaffer law firm is representing all servers, bussers, runners, bartenders, and other “Tipped Workers.” These are employees who are currently work or have worked at the Dinosaur Bar-B-Que restaurants in their multiple New York Locations.  With eight restaurants in the Tristate area and other locations expected to open relatively soon, Dinosaur is a growing business. John Stage founded Dinosaur in 1988 along with some biker friends and then sold Dinosaur to a company that is controlled by billionaire financier George Soros in 2008.

The lawsuit names Dinosaur Restaurants, LLC, JLN-Store, Inc., Soros Strategic Partners LP, and John Stage as defendants.  Within the suit it claims that Dinosaur fails to abide by the “tipped credit” provision in federal law. This law requires all employers to meet minimum wage standards, if the tips and pay do not satisfy the standard. Also, the suit states that Dinosaur fell short of properly paying overtime wages, required tip workers to share tip earnings with managers for larger events, failed to keep accurate records of tips and wages, and “misappropriated” tips belonging to the tipped workers. Along with failure to follow regulations, Dinosaur required all tipped employees to spend 20 percent of their work day completing “side work,” where normally they should be paid minimum wage for those hours, but were not. It seems as though these employees are allegedly being cheated out of their earnings on every level.

Similar cases have been filed against companies such as Chipotle Mexican Grill and TGI Fridays by Fitapelli & Schaffer. Their focus is on “recovering unpaid wages for clients in financial, banking, and food service industries.” Fitapelli & Schaffer are encouraging anyone who believes that they were affected by Dinosaur Restaurants to contact them, as it is common with class action lawsuits. A statement issued by company founder John Stage said he’s aware of the allegations but isn’t commenting on them. Hopefully, if these employees were unjustly underpaid, they will be fairly compensated.