A federal judge has conditionally certified a class of former employees of The Greene Turtle who are alleging unpaid overtime and regular wages.
Lawyers for two employees and the restaurant chain are scheduled for a conference call Wednesday with U.S. District Court Judge Catherine C. Blake to discuss a notice form for other employees to join the class.
The lawsuit alleges the restaurant chain violated the Fair Labor Standards Act by failing to notify servers and other employees who received tips that it would be taking a so-called “tip credit” against the workers’ minimum wage earnings. The plaintiffs also claim they were not paid the legal overtime rate of one-and-a-half times the minimum wage.
“These are systematic, across-the-board payroll practices,” said Bradford W. Warbasse, one of the lawyers representing the plaintiffs. “We think it’s a strong case.
The Greene Turtle was founded in Ocean City in 1976 and has expanded to two dozen locations across Maryland, Delaware, Virginia and Washington, D.C. The Greene Turtle Franchising Corp., named as a defendant in the case, owns between eight and a dozen of the restaurants, including locations in Towson, the Verizon Center in Washington and Baltimore-Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport.