CKS&D is investigating potential labor law claims against Ruth’s Chris 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.
Ruth’s Chris 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 Ruth’s Chris does not have to pay them back), so long as Ruth’s Chris does not reduce its payroll in the coming months. So, Ruth’s Chris 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, Ruth’s Chris may be violating federal and/or state minimum wage laws.
If you are a server currently employed by Ruth’s Chris, we would be interested in hearing from you.