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Coyote Ugly Scores Big Victory in Restaurant & Bar Employee Tip Pool Class Action Lawsuit
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Coyote Ugly Scores Big Victory in Restaurant & Bar Employee Tip Pool Class Action Lawsuit

08.12.13
Bone McAllester Norton employment attorney Anne Martin led a winning defense for Coyote Ugly in a national class action trial in Nashville. A big shout out to Anne Martin and Marty Cook for the victory.

National legal publication Law 360 has the scoop:

A nationwide class of Coyote Ugly Saloon Development Corp. bartenders on Thursday lost their Fair Labor Standards Act case as a Tennessee federal judge ruled the nightlife chain did not illegally require them to participate in a tip pool with bouncers.

U.S. District Judge Aleta A. Trauger, ruling after a two-day bench trial, disagreed with class members that the tip-pooling policy violated FLSA because security guards were statutorily ineligible to participate in the arrangement. The class argued that bouncers get wages that are equal to or exceed the minimum wage and are not tipped employees as defined in FLSA.

"There is ample evidence in the record to demonstrate that security guards employed at company-owned Coyote Ugly saloons sufficiently interact with customers so as to constitute employees who 'customarily and regularly receive tips'" under a Sixth Circuit precedent know as Kilgore v. Outback Steakhouse, Judge Trauger said.

The full story at Law 360 is here, but requires a subscription. Thanks to Law 360 for the coverage.

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