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Former Adams County Friendly's employees file suit against chain

Written by Jennifer Wentz, The Evening Sun | Jun 4, 2015 11:05 AM
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Two former employees of Friendly's Restaurant in Gettysburg filed a civil complaint against the restaurant chain, alleging they and other employees were required to work unpaid or underpaid hours.

Attorneys David J. Cohen; of Bucks County-based Kolman Ely, P.C.; and Jeremiah Frei-Pearson; of New York-based Finkelstein, Blankinship, Frei-Pearson and Garber, LLP; filed the complaint on behalf of former Friendly's employees Tisha Reed and Natasha Walker in United States District Court on June 1.

The complaint alleges the chain violated federal labor laws by requiring servers, including Reed and Walker, to work off the clock during unpaid meal breaks and after their scheduled shifts. It also claims the restaurant violated Pennsylvania's minimum wage laws by forcing servers to spend more than 20 percent of their work time on non-tipped tasks, like cleaning and stocking, while working at the tipped minimum wage of $2.83 per hour.

Because Cohen and Frei-Pearson believe these practices extend from corporate policies, they are trying to have the case certified as a class action suit, the complaint states. If successful, anyone who works or has worked at any of Friendly's roughly 350 locations in the past three years, and did not sign an anti-arbitration agreement with the company, could be eligible to participate.

"We look forward to vindicating the rights of Friendly's employees who were not properly compensated because people have a right to be paid for every hour they work," Frei-Pearson said.

Fisher and Phillips LLP, named in the suit as Friendly's legal counsel, does not publicly comment on its client's cases, said Kevin Sullivan, media contact for the firm.

Unless class certification occurs, Reed and Walker will remain the sole plaintiffs.

Both Reed and Walker worked as hourly-paid servers at Friendly's Restaurant at 445 Steinwehr Ave. in Gettysburg, according to the complaint. Reed, of York County, worked at the restaurant from early 2013 to April 2015, while Walker, of Adams County, worked there from October 2012 to March 2015.

The complaint filed June 1 is an amended version of a complaint filed in February, court documents show.

Cohen and Frei-Pearson initially filed the suit on behalf of former Gettysburg Friendly's employee Lacey Zartman, but refiled with Reed and Walker as named plaintiffs because Reed and Walker had not signed anti-arbitration agreements with the company, according to court records.

On a mobile device? Click here to read the complaint.

Friendly's Amended Complaint


This article comes to us through a partnership between the Evening Sun and WITF.

Published in Adams County, News

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