Frequently Asked Questions

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BASIC INFORMATION

Our lawsuit involves persons who worked for Applebee’s in the last six years and were paid a sub-minimum wage. Therefore, if you are a current or former Applebee’s employee and were paid a sub-minimum wage, then you qualify to participate in the lawsuit.

Additionally, you can contact us so we can learn more about your employment situation and discuss any possible claims that you may have against Applebee’s. There is no charge or obligation for contacting us and we will not disclose to Applebee’s any information that you provide to our legal team. However, no formal attorney-client relationship with us will be created by contacting us to discuss your claims.

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 your Consent Form, if one is submitted to us, has been received, we confirm that you qualify for the lawsuit, and we file your Consent Form with the Court. Any communications with us will be kept confidential. Additionally, our formal representation of you at that time would cover only those wage claims that are included in the Complaint filed with the Court.

You have the right to seek other legal counsel to represent you. Choosing a lawyer is an important decision and you should select a lawyer to represent you who you feel can best protect your interests. Please contact us if you have any questions.

Yes. Rules called the statutes of limitations may limit the time for which back wages may be recovered, which ultimately reduces the amount of recoverable back wages. 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 New York state law is six years.

Therefore, should you decide to participate in the lawsuit, 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 at once and submit at least a completed Information Sheet. Contacting us or submitting any documents, including an Information Sheet, will not form an attorney-client relationship. However, all communications with us about your situation will be kept confidential. If you would like to participate in the lawsuit against Applebee’s for unpaid wages, then you should also submit a Consent Form. If you qualify for the lawsuit, we would file your Consent Form to seek back wages on your behalf.

However, if you feel that you may have claims other than or in addition to the

wage and hour

claims set forth in the Complaint , then we encourage you to retain another attorney now to avoid losing those claims as a result of any statute of limitations or other deadline that may extinguish any of your claims or lessen any damages to which you could be entitled.

Click here for important information about our potential representation of you.

In a collective (or class) action lawsuit, one or more people called “Class Representatives” sue on behalf of other people who have similar claims. The people together are a “Class” or “Class Members.” The individuals who sue—and all the Class Members like them—are called the plaintiffs. The company that is sued (for example, in this lawsuit, Applebee’s) is called the defendant. Unless each employee’s case ends up being tried separately, one Court resolves the issues for everyone in the Class—except for those people who choose not to join the Class.

A “party plaintiff” is a participant whose Consent Form is filed with the Court. A “named plaintiff” is a party plaintiff whose role in the litigation may potentially be more active than the other “party plaintiffs.” However, all plaintiffs may be expected to participate in pre-trial discovery or be asked to assist with the lawsuit. The named plaintiff(s)’ name is on the caption of the lawsuit and he or she is a representative of the party plaintiffs and all other persons similarly situated.

Though a lawsuit has been filed, the Court has not decided whether Applebee’s or the employees are correct. Additionally, the Court has not yet determined whether the employees have similar enough claims that it makes sense to have those claims combined in one case. This lawsuit is still in the very early stages, and, therefore, there is no money available now.

The Court will decide whether people who have opted in to the class action by filing a Consent Form may participate as Class Members. To determine whether you are indeed a proper member of the Class, Applebee’s will likely ask the Court to engage in a review of the circumstances of your employment with Applebee’s, taking into account factors such as job responsibilities, recording and payment for time worked, any defenses asserted against you by Applebee’s, and other procedural issues.

Plaintiffs have alleged that Applebee’s pay policy violates federal and state minimum wage requirements. Specifically, Applebee’s policy pays its employees subminimum wages for duties including washing dishes, cleaning bathrooms, and preparing entrees and appetizers. Applebee’s does not qualify for an exception to the minimum wage requirements and therefore employees are entitled to the full minimum wage for each hour worked.

Some companies who violate the law are hopeful that if they can hide the violation and not make it too obvious to employees, by the time a lawsuit starts, they can save themselves more money than a lawsuit will cost. But, as the Department of Labor regulations make clear, that does not make such practices legal.

In the Lawsuit, the plaintiffs claim that Applebee’s had a practice of continuing to pay employees, including servers, a sub-minimum wage for duties unrelated to their tipped position, including washing dishes, cleaning bathrooms, and preparing entrees and appetizers.

YOUR RIGHTS AND OPTIONS

To participate in the lawsuit, you need to first complete the Consent Form and Information Sheet, and return them to us. We will then evaluate your specific situation and determine whether you qualify to participate in this lawsuit. If you qualify, then by filing your completed Consent Form, you will join the other Applebee’s employees who are seeking back wages that are owed to them. It is entirely your own decision whether or not to join the lawsuit. Remember, if you anticipate participating in this, or any, lawsuit against Applebee’s, then you must save and preserve all documents and electronic files related to your employment with Applebee’s.

Warning: If you qualify for the lawsuit and do not have a completed Consent Form filed with the court, then you cannot get any back wages from this lawsuit, should the lawsuit result in a recovery.

Our attorney-client relationship with you will start only if you decide to participate in the lawsuit against Applebee’s, and we file your Consent Form with the Court, which would cover only the unpaid wage claims listed in the Complaint filed with the Court. Even though a formal attorney-client relationship does not start until your Consent Form is filed, communications with us relating to information or advice concerning your possible claims against Applebee’s will be kept confidential, including any information provided to us in your Information Sheet.

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 your Consent Form, if one is submitted to us, has been received, we confirm that you qualify for the lawsuit, and we file your Consent Form with the Court. Any communications with us will be kept confidential.

If you do nothing, then you will not participate 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 these claims.

You can also start your own lawsuit against Applebee’s. You’ll have to hire and likely pay your own lawyer for that lawsuit, and you’ll have to prove your claims. If you do exclude yourself so you can start your own lawsuit against Applebee’s, you should talk to your own lawyer soon because your claims may be subject to a statute of limitations for your Federal Claims of two years, or three years if the violations are found to be willful.

No. If you would like to talk to one of our attorneys handling the lawsuit, at no charge or obligation to you, then, please contact us. We will not share any information from you with anyone else, including Applebee’s. If you decide to participate in the lawsuit, and we file your Consent Form, then at that time Applebee’s may know your name. However, Applebee’s is not permitted by law to take any adverse employment action against you because you participated in the lawsuit.

The lawyers will handle most of the presentation of the case. From time to time, our legal team will ask you for information and you would need to give that information to them. You may also be asked to answer questions from Applebee’s attorney prior to trial for part of a day. Should there be 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.

That does not matter – you still need to be paid properly. The regulations require that you be paid minimum wage.

You don’t need your time records to be able to recover money. The law requires Applebee’s 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 is taken as true. This means that the amount you get is calculated by your reasonable estimate of the hours you worked, not by what Applebee’s thinks the employees worked.

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

You will also not be charged any money upfront to participate in the lawsuit. Any legal fees would be dependent on the outcome of the lawsuit. If we prevail in the lawsuit, then any legal fees will be paid by Applebee’s, or approved by the Court and be paid out of a settlement fund. Therefore, while legal fees might reduce the total amount of funds potentially received by all the party plaintiffs, any legal fee will not be paid by you personally. If there is no recovery, then you are not obligated to pay any fee or cost.

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. In no case would you be asked to spend your own money for attorney fees or costs. You won’t have to pay these fees and expenses out-of-pocket. If the Court grants the lawyers’ request, the fees and expenses would be either deducted from any money obtained for the class or paid separately by Applebee’s. To the extent fees and costs are paid from a settlement fund, the Class Members’ share of the fund would be reduced.

If money damages or benefits are obtained as a result of a settlement or trial, then, if you are eligible to receive a portion of those money damages or benefits, you would be notified about how to participate. We do not know how long such a process would take.

Yes. It’s important and helpful to our legal team that all current and former employees of Applebee’s 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.

It would take a detailed calculation based on the facts of your case to determine how much you would be owed in back wages. our team can provide an estimate to you if you contact us.

However, the amounts can be significant. You could be entitled to some or all of the following:

  1. the difference between minimum wage (currently $7.25 per hour) and your sub-minimum wage;
  2. doubling of that amount; and
  3. your attorneys’ fees paid by Applebee’s.

Click here for important information about our potential representation of you.

Our attorney-client relationship with you will start only if you decide to participate in the lawsuit and we file your Consent Form with the Court, which would cover only the unpaid wage claims listed in the Complaint filed with the Court. Even though a formal attorney-client relationship does not start until your Consent Form is filed, communications with us relating to information or advice concerning your possible claims against Applebee’s will be kept confidential, including any information provided to us in your Information Sheet.

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 your Consent Form, if one is submitted to us, has been received, we confirm that you qualify for the lawsuit, and we file your Consent Form with the Court, at which time our representation of you will be limited to only the unpaid wage claims listed in the Complaint filed with the Court. Any communications with us will be kept confidential.

Please also keep in mind that important deadlines are passing daily that could reduce your recovery. Additionally, you may have claims that are not included in the information you provide to us, or are not the types of legal claims that we would handle. Therefore, we encourage you to retain another attorney now if you want to investigate any claims you may have. You have the right to seek other legal counsel to represent you. Choosing a lawyer is an important decision and you should select a lawyer to represent you who you feel can best protect your interests. Remember, if you anticipate participating in any lawsuit against Applebee’s, then you must save and preserve all documents and electronic files related to your employment with Applebee’s. Please contact us if you have any questions at 1-877-272-4066.