CKS&D is investigating potential labor law claims against Fogo de Chao on behalf of servers and other tipped employees who may be kept on payroll while the restaurants are closed due to COVID-19, but being paid less than mandated minimum wage.
Fogo de Chao reportedly received $20 million in loans under the federal government’s Payroll Protection Program (PPP). The purpose of these loans is to cover payroll costs. The loans may be forgiven, however, (meaning Fogo de Chao does not have to pay them back), so long as Fogo de Chao does not reduce its payroll in the coming months. So, Fogo de Chao cannot layoff employees and still receive loan forgiveness.
However, by paying its servers less than minimum wage during times when those servers are not receiving any tip income, may be violating federal and/or state minimum wage laws.
If you are a server currently employed by Fogo de Chao, we would be interested in hearing from you.