Michigan Live: Buffalo Wild Wings owners agree to $1.8M minimum wage settlement

Ian Pajer-Rogers |

From Michigan Live:

by Gary Ridley

CHICAGO -- A company that owns a string of Buffalo Wild Wings restaurants across Michigan and Illinois has agreed to pay $1.8 million to settle claims they violated state laws by refusing to pay its employees minimum wage.

Diversified Restaurant Holdings and its subsidiaries filed a motion Sept. 30 in Chicago U.S. District Court asking the judge to approve the settlement reached with more than 1,000 of its current and former employees at its Illinois and Michigan restaurants.

Two lawsuits, one filed by a worker at the company's Fenton restaurant, and another filed by two Illinois-based employees, claimed the restaurant management company forced tipped employees -- who were paid sub-minimum wages -- to complete duties outside of their tipped occupations and paid them less than minimum wage.

"The lawsuit was directed to a longstanding and illegal practice that is too common in the restaurant industry: using tipped employees to perform non-tipped work while paying them less than the full minimum wage," said the employees' Chicago-based attorney, Douglas M. Werman. "These cases and this settlement demonstrate that tipped employees have the power to change their employers' practices and recover the wages that they owed. We are very proud of this result."

Read the full article from Michigan Live.