On March 5, 2015, a delivery driver for Lychee House, a Chinese restaurant located in Midtown Manhattan, filed a lawsuit against the Company for unpaid wages pursuant to the Fair Labor Standards Act and New York Labor Law. Plaintiff, Yong Jie Li, and other drivers alleged that the restaurant failed to pay them and others similarly situated the proper overtime pay and “spread of hours” compensation. Li stated that he worked at least 55 hours per week and received $201.00 per week.
This week, Judge Valerie Caproni of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, granted a preliminary certification of the class. This allows the plaintiffs to continue to proceed with the case as a group and will also allow other current or former delivery drivers to join the lawsuit.
Delivery workers employed by restaurants frequently work long hours without being properly compensated. Non-exempt delivery workers who work over 40 hours per week are entitled to overtime pay at a rate of one-and-one-half times their regular rate of pay. Also, in New York, if a delivery driver or other non-exempt employee works over 10 hours per day, they are owed additional compensation. It is important to consult with a labor law attorney if you believe you are being denied the proper compensation for your work.