Henderson Kitchen receives dismissal of some class-action compensation claims

By Dawn Geske | Oct 30, 2018

A motion to dismiss several counts in a class-action suit regarding employee compensation at a Chinese restaurant has been denied in part and granted in part.

The class members in a lawsuit with Henderson Kitchen, d.b.a. Pinwei Restaurant, claimed the restaurant improperly compensated them for their labor by withholding tips and paying under the minimum wage.

In the lawsuit, the class members allege that Henderson Kitchen violated the Fair Labor Standards Act, Pennsylvania Minimum Wage Act, and the Pennsylvania Wage Payment and Collection Law. Henderson Kitchen filed a motion to dismiss five of the seven counts against them.

According to the memorandum prepared by Judge R. Barclay Surrick for the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, the original complaint against Henderson Kitchen was filed on March 10, 2017. The suit pertains to all current and former employees of Pinwei Restaurant.


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Surrick granted the motion to dismiss the counts that Henderson Kitchen violated the Fair Labor Standards Act and Pennsylvania Minimum Wage Act. According to the court memorandum, the class members claim they were paid under the minimum wage for the hours they worked.

When calculated, the wages the class members questioned were actually in line with the minimum wage requirement stipulated by the acts. The complaint was dismissed against all the plaintiffs except Chuan Geng, who was a busser with wages. When calculated with overtime, his compensation was below the minimum wage level.

The suit also alleged that Henderson Kitchen illegally retained tips and used them to pay other employees. The plaintiffs claim that Henderson Kitchen kept them in the dark about the restaurant’s tip policy. Surrick denied the request by the defendants to dismiss this complaint as sufficient evidence was provided by the class members.

Under the Pennsylvania Wage Payment and Collection Law, the class members also claimed that Henderson Kitchen, “failed to pay them their due and proper wages.” Surrick disagreed and granted the dismissal to Henderson Kitchen.

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