A Pennsylvania woman is filing class action suit against a Dallas-based movie chain and its parent company, alleging unlawful pay practices.
Tianna Kotchmar of Montgomery County, individually and on behalf of all others similarly situated, filed a lawsuit July 23 in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania against Movie Tavern Partners, Southern Theaters and Doe Defendants 1-10, citing violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act and the Pennsylvania Minimum Wage Act.
According to the class action complaint, Kotchmar worked for the defendants as a runner at their Collegeville location from March-August 2014. The suit states Kotchmar and other employees were deprived of the mandated minimum wage for the hours they worked as the result of the defendants applying a tip credit against their wages.
Although the law indicates employers are allowed to take a tip credit and pay its employees less than the mandated minimum wage, they can only do so if the employee's tips from customers and the tip credit wage paid by the employer equals at least the applicable minimum wage. Moreover, an employer must notify its employees of its intention to take the tip credit and the amount of the tip credit, the suit says.
The lawsuit states not only did the defendants fail to notify employees that they would claim a tip credit and its amount, but the defendants also took the credit and only paid employees the tip-credit wage.
Kotchmar, on behalf of herself and others similarly situated, seeks unpaid minimum wages, unpaid overtime wages, liquidated damages, attorney fees, court costs and other relief deemed appropriate by the court. She and the proposed class are represented by attorneys Arkady "Eric" Rayz and Demetri A. Braynin of Kalikhman & Rayz in Huntingdon Valley, and Gerald D. Wells III and Stephen E. Connolly of Connolly Wells & Gray in King of Prussia.
U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania case number: 2:15-cv-04061-CDJ.